Constellation Wines US Goes Solar in Gonzales

Ξ October 23rd, 2008 | → 1 Comments | ∇ A Day at a Time, Technology, Wine News, Wineries |

Arctic melt, (Fugro NPA Ltd.)In recent weeks we’ve read a blizzard of bad news. A representative pair:
 
Greenhouse gas emissions shock scientists.
 
The world pumped up emissions of the chief human-produced global warming gas last year, setting a course that could push beyond leading scientists’ projected worst-case scenario, international researchers said Thursday.

The new numbers, which some scientists called “scary,” were a surprise because experts thought an economic downturn would slow energy use. Instead, carbon dioxide output rose 3% from 2006 to 2007.
 
Climate change is ‘faster and more extreme’ than feared.
 
‘Extreme weather events’ such as the hot summer of 2003, which caused an extra 35,000 deaths across southern Europe from heat stress and poor air quality, will happen more frequently.
Britain and the North Sea area will be hit more often by violent cyclones and the predicted rise in sea level will double to more than a metre, putting vast coastal areas at risk from flooding.
The bleak report from WWF – formerly the World Wildlife Fund – also predicts crops failures and the collapse of eco systems on both land and sea.

 
WWF’s full report may be read here
 
mitsubishi 185 watt panelTime for a bit of good news. In an oddly underreported development, Constellation Brands subsidiary, Constellation Wines US, announced that Gonzales Winery, (formerly known as Blackstone), in Gonzales, Monterey County here in California, has begun the installation of a 1 megawatt solar array, the biggest solar project in the state and of any winery in the world.
 
The 185 watt solar panels (poly-crystalline modules, not thin film) have been purchased from Mitsubishi Electric. Retail price is $900 per panel but I imagine Constellation will get a discount for the 6,358 panels! Indeed, as the Monterey Herald reports,
 
According to Kelly McMahon, Director of Sales for Pacific Power Management, it’s a project that would cost a typical consumer about $8 million. But because Gonzales Winery has an agreement to buy electricity from Pacific Power, Pacific Power is footing the bill for the installation.
 
The panels will be arrayed on the winery’s 170,000 square foot roof, an area the size of three football fields. More than 1.7 kilowatts will be generated over the course of the year. (Although another report puts the total at 1,176,230 watts of DC power, delivering 1,000,040 AC watts to the grid). Father Efrain Medina of St. Theodore’s Catholic ChurchThe solar power generated translates into the equivalent pollution offset of 1.6 million pounds of CO2, 1,636 pounds of SO2, and 2,909 pounds of Nitrogen compounds. For fuller detail click any of the links highlighted above.
 
Let me add a link to a Gonzales Tribune story that aptly sums up Constellation’s Gonzales Winery effort: The September Blessing of the Grapes by Father Efrain Medina of St. Theodore’s at Blackstone, what is now the Gonzales Winery. I recommend you give it a read.
 
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  1. Morton Leslie said,

    on October 24th, 2008 at 10:42 am

    “Faster and more extreme than feared?”

    Uh, “scientists” may be “shocked”, but probably a few are not surprised that the economic downturn of 2008 did not affect the C02 output of 2007? But to be fair, it is hard to keep these things straight when you are running around warning everyone about the sky falling.

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