Sunshine power for Graham Beck Wines
In line with its green culture, Graham Beck installed a solar photovoltaic (PV) system at Madeba, their Robertson Estate.
The estate's switch to solar was very practical, given the abundance of sunshine in Robertson. Louis Jordaan, Graham Beck Operations Manager explains: “With all the sunshine hours in the Robertson area we have a high solar irradiation factor. That factor, combined with the fact that all the roof areas on our structures are positioned at the perfect angle for optimizing the solar radiation, made it an easy decision to harvest sunlight for electricity.”
The installation is a 312 kWp system, and was installed in November last year. Approximately 2384.5 m2 of the estate’s roof space is now covered with 1200 solar panels and each with a 260 Wp capacity. The electricity generated by the system is for the estate’s own consumption – the majority is consumed by the cellar, while any surplus energy is fed back into their own grid. The system will continue to produce clean “green” electricity for at least 25 years, providing tangible environmental benefits for sustainable, responsible farming.
Here are some benefits of the installation:
- It will provide 16% of total consumption, which will result in savings of over R305 000 in the first year
- System output is 469.8 MWh per year (enough to power 60 average houses)
- Klip-lock roof installation with no roof penetration
- Annually the system will save 254 tons of coal and avoid over 474 tons of CO2 emissions
“Solareff recently completed an impressive project at Graham Beck Wines Robertson cellar – the installation of an extensive solar system to support our electrical usage. We are extremely excited about the impact this installation will have on our sustainability efforts. This project promises to deliver considerable long term benefits for the environment as well as contribute substantially to the overall cost effectiveness of operations. We take from nature during the winemaking process and this is a nice way of giving back. At Graham Beck we not only harvest grapes to make MCC, we also harvest the sun to make kilowatts. When we switched the solar plant on, the effect was immediate. It was like magic to see how solar irradiation changes into electricity!” said Jordaan.
The Western Cape Government encourages businesses to install rooftop PV. Visit switchandsave.co.za for more details.
Information and images provided by Solareff