Healdsburg, CA (July 11, 2012)—After focusing on reducing its energy consumption for several years, Jordan Vineyard & Winery has completed installation of a 1,932-panel, solar photovoltaic array composed of 100% American-made equipment—quite uncommon in this country due to the higher cost of U.S.-manufactured products. The solar power generated is expected to offset the family-owned and operated winery’s utility bill by 99% and save nearly $4.9 million in electricity costs over the next 30 years.
Prior to installing solar, Jordan chose to focus its efforts on a six-year program to reduce its energy consumption to the lowest possible level before switching to solar power. “I felt strongly about reducing our energy use before converting to solar,” said Tim Spence, director of operations at Jordan Vineyard & Winery. “In the rush to get off the grid, many businesses have been ‘solarizing’ their inefficiencies—putting marketing before true sustainability and using the sun to power their overconsumption of energy. Reduce use first: that’s been our guiding principle.”
From 2007 to 2011, Jordan installed “cool roofs”, new refrigeration units, new warehouse doors, pre-insulated piping systems, PowerShaver USES® technology, LED lighting and also enrolled in PG&E ClimateSmart™ to reach its initial electricity-reduction goals. The winery’s electrical demand decreased by 25% due to this aggressive action program, and energy use was certified carbon neutral in 2009 through the purchase of Renewable Energy Credits (RECs). Since Jordan’s switch from electrical to solar on June 29, its CO2 offset is equivalent to planting 500 trees: http://live.deckmonitoring.com/?id=jordan_winery.
A federal grant in lieu of tax credit helped offset nearly one-third of the cost of Jordan’s 454-Kilowatt (kW) solar system. Spence was able to secure American-made solar panels for a price comparable to Chinese-made panels, which were priced around 20% less in 2011 when Jordan started the project. Jordan’s solar panels were made by Sharp in Tennessee and its DECK Monitoring system was manufactured in Oregon and Solectria inverters made in Massachusetts. China’s solar companies hold more than 60 percent of the global market. According to The New York Times, the United States announced in May 2012 that antidumping tariffs would be levied on solar panels from China to help level the competitive playing field with American producers.
Installed by Stellar Energy, Jordan’s solar array was built on a hillside behind the winery to maximize the southern exposure sunshine and preserve the traditional, elegant look of the winery chateau buildings. Videos and aerial photos of the solar installation are available at http://blog.jordanwinery.com/2012/07/our-long-road-to-solar-power-the-american-way/.
“California’s bountiful sunshine has nurtured our grapevines for 40 years, and this harvest, we’ll use that same sunlight to power all of our crush equipment for the 2012 vintage,” said John Jordan, chief executive officer of Jordan Vineyard & Winery.
About Jordan Vineyard &Winery
One of the first wineries certified in the Sonoma Green Business Program, Jordan Vineyard & Winery lies tucked into the hills of Alexander Valley in Sonoma County, where the iconic Jordan chateau, inspired by the great estates of France, overlooks 1,200 acres of rolling hills and vineyards with three quarters of the land dedicated to natural habitat. Today, second-generation vintner John Jordan continues to build upon the legacy of his parents, preserving the timeless winemaking qualities of balance, finesse and food affinity. Join the celebration of Jordan’s 40th anniversary in 2012 at www.jordanwinery.com/40.