Solar Tracking Array
J. Lohr is proud to be harnessing the sun’s rays to power our facilities in Paso Robles. Please read the below press release for details.
J. LOHR VINEYARDS & WINES UNVEILS WINE INDUSTRY’S LARGEST SOLAR ENERGY TRACKING SYSTEM
3-acre, solar photovoltaic system offsets 75% of winery’s energy usage in Paso Robles
PASO ROBLES, Calif. – February 18, 2009 – J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines today unveils the largest solar tracking array in the wine industry, a 3-acre, state-of-the-art, 756 kilowatt solar photovoltaic (PV) single-axis tracking system designed to offset 75% of the winery’s energy usage at its Paso Robles operations. This new, ground-mounted installation is comprised of 4,320 PV modules that track the sun from east to west on a daily basis to optimize production of solar-generated electricity. The landmark system was designed and installed by Conergy, which is involved in 1 in 10 of the world’s solar photovoltaic projects.
The unveiling of this new solar array takes place today in an intimate event held at J. Lohr’s winery and vineyards in Paso Robles. It is a noteworthy step in the company’s program of sustainable winegrowing and winemaking practices. These practices include utilization of organic soil amendments, limited use of chemicals, erosion control, water conservation, extensive pomace composting and materials recycling.
“J. Lohr has an impressive track record of environmental responsibility, and by both adopting sustainable practices and being willing to share its experience with others, is helping to expand the California wine industry’s widespread sustainability movement,” said Allison Jordan, executive director for CSWA, the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance.
J. Lohr will now be operating the largest solar PV tracking array by a winery in North America. As a result of this installation, the energy generated from J. Lohr’s system will reduce CO2 emissions by 29,887 tons over 25 years. In practical terms, this is equivalent to planting 512 acres of trees (which sequester carbon from our air), or eliminating the air pollution that comes from driving 97 million road miles.
“With numerous sunny days, Paso Robles isn’t just ideal for producing rich and flavorful Bordeaux and Rhône-style wines,” said Steve Lohr, senior vice president of planning and development with J. Lohr, “it is also perfect for producing clean, renewable energy. Owning our own solar tracking array is another important step in our commitment to environmentally-conscious practices. In our own way, we are working to protect the very climate that nurtures our grapes, while contributing to efforts that reduce the need for drilling off our spectacular coast.”
With a groundswell of consumer support for sustainable solutions that promote energy independence amidst escalating energy prices, the case for renewable energy has never been more compelling.
“With a strong, credible voice among industry professionals and a powerful commitment to environmental stewardship, J. Lohr recognized the
importance of setting an example for the wine industry, for other energy-intensive businesses, and the public at large,” said Conergy Product Developer Michael DeSousa. “By investing in this bellwether system, J. Lohr becomes more energy independent and will enjoy more predictable energy costs for decades to come,” DeSousa added.
Founded more than three decades ago by Jerry Lohr, J. Lohr Vineyards & Wines crafts a full line of internationally-recognized wines from its 3,000 acres of estate vineyards in Paso Robles, Monterey County, and the Napa Valley. Offering an expressive range of styles, J. Lohr produces three tiers of signature wines showcasing its estate grapes – J. Lohr Estates, J. Lohr Vineyard Series and J. Lohr Cuvée Series. J. Lohr also produces an array of flavorful wines under its Cypress Vineyards, ARIEL (non-alcoholic) and Painter Bridge labels.
Contact: Michelle Armour