Vergelegen Wine Estate, located in Somerset West, has implemented a solar power plant that has made the winery building independent of the conventional electricity grid. The solar installation consists of six solar tables equipped with 500 panels covering an area of 1,400 square meters, along with three inverters and a 1 MWh battery. This setup ensures that the wine cellar can operate using stored energy from the battery, even when sunlight is unavailable.
Eben Olderwagen, the Environmental Project Manager at Vergelegen, notes that while the exact reduction in carbon emissions will be determined over time, the winery will save the entire electricity bill for the cellar, making it 100% reliant on the solar plant. Moreover, the solar system eliminates the need for the estate to incur expenses on diesel to power generators during electricity load shedding.
Any excess energy generated by the solar plant that is not used by the cellar will be fed back into the grid and credited to the estate’s overall electricity account, resulting in cost savings for the entire property.
Luke O’Cuinneagain, the winemaker at Vergelegen, emphasizes that sustainability and winemaking are closely intertwined, portraying the installation of solar panels as not only a practical choice but also a commitment to environmental responsibility and the production of exceptional wines. LRG Solar supplied and installed the solar system.