In March 2017, our 100% off grid winery went 'live'. Powered by 108 solar panels and 80kw of battery storage, the winery was ready just in time for vintage. The winery collects & uses water from its roof and winery waste is treated on site.
We've just started our second vintage in our solar powered winery. We're a small producer in the world of wine- the winery has a modest 100 tonne capacity. But in 12 months, the solar panels have generated 16 megawatts of power. Outside of the busy vintage period, the winery generates surplus power which is diverted to the cellar door.
Solar has proved to be a reliable source of power for our business. Even in Tasmania in the depths of winter, the sun still comes up everyday, even when its cloudy, some sun gets through to charge up the batteries. We still haven't got around to purchasing a 'back up system'- a diesel generator.
We've had to make afew adjustments to the system to handle the power load demanded by our winery equipment, the cooling plant for example draws a lot of power. While the system is designed to supply ample power, you do need to keep the batteries in your mind when working- depleting the batteries to a low level on a regular basis will shorten their life. Running a solar powered winery is an extension of watching the weather as a farmer- you look ahead to the forecast and plan your work accordingly.
We have released 3 solar powered wines to date- 2017 Pinot Gris, 2017 Pinot Rosé (sold out) and 2017 CGR Late Harvest Riesling. The 2017 Riesling is waiting in the wings (we are still selling through Riesling from the bountiful 2016 harvest, the wine is just starting to hit its straps). The 2017 Pinot Noir is in bottle and the 2017 Chardonnay will be bottled this week (nothing like bottling during the stress of vintage!).
The winery project has been recognised with a Master Builder's Award for Special Achievement in Construction and an Innovative Tasmania Award for Innovative Practice. At the 2017 Launceston Chamber of Commerce Business Excellence Awards, Moores Hill received the Best Environmental Practice Award and was named Business of the Year.
The winery was designed by Joel Fletcher of Simplicity Studio and built by d2 Spaces. Mode Electrical designed and installed the solar system.
Images: Chris Crerar/ Renee Hodskiss