Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Villiera Wines switches to solar!

Villiera Wines continues to set the standard for environmentally responsible wine making in the Stellenbosch area with their installation of a solar power system which will reduce their carbon footprint and decrease their reliance on the national electricity grid.

According to Villiera’s owners, electricity is a significant cost factor in running a wine estate and turning to green energy is not only an attractive philosophy but increasingly a smart financial decision too. Owners Jeff Grier, Simon Grier and Cathy Brewer researched all the options and finally decided to opt for a solar power system that will supply all of Villiera’s daytime requirements outside of harvest time.

The project involves approximately 900m² of solar panels mounted on the cellar roofs that together are capable of generating 132 KW of power. “Storing the power would double the cost, so at night and during the harvest season we will continue to rely on Eskom,” commented Jeff Grier.  “As far as I know, this is the biggest roof-mounted solar power installation in South Africa at present” he added.

Villiera is also looking at ways to decrease power consumption for example by installing solar domes instead of lights where possible and replacing most electric geysers with solar water heaters.


System size: 132kWp (131.74 kWp)
Type of system: Grid Tied
Module Type: 240Wp & 245Wp Polycrystalline Photovoltaic modules
Mounting Type: Roof mounted, extruded aluminium track system
Inverter Type: 2 x 70kVa 3 Phase Grid Tied inverters
Estimated production/year: 313 MWh
Installed: September 2010
System cost Installed R4,1m incl. VAT
Cost per watt Installed R31.12 incl. VAT
Eskom avg. tariff R0.48 (at the time of the installation date)
Eskom tariff in 5 yrs R1.48/kWh (estimated)
Solar Electricity cost R0.66/kWh (capital cost divided by kWh’s produced during warrantee period of 25 years)
Payback period: 6 -7 years

Download Installers Specs...Pdf 1MB


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