Perpetual Energy Systems Limited (PES) and Foster’s Wine Estates Americas (Foster’s), a subsidiary of Foster’s Group, has announced the activation of four solar installations for US winery. All four active rooftop installations, including Etude and Stags’ Leap Winery, will generate 3.85 million kilowatt hours (kWh AC) of energy annually. In conjunction with PES, The Bright Group, Inc. and Stellar Energy Solutions served as co-developers for planning and construction of the project.

Beringer Vineyards hosts a 1,341,200 W DC solar energy system, at a winery in the country. Additionally, Beringer’s sister winery at Asti, home to brands Souverain and Cellar No. 8, also hosts a solar system of its kind, producing 1,152,144 W DC.

PES combined conventional financing, construction and permanent debt and equity, with the federal energy tax credits program to fund the entire installation without capital investment from Foster’s. As the financier, PES retains ownership of the solar panels as well as the renewable energy certificates and carbon credits determined by the system’s actual kilowatt hour output.

“Partnering with Foster’s to host the largest solar energy project at a U.S. winery is an honor for us,” says Laurance Friedman, co-chair of PES. “The importance of renewable energy is gaining momentum in the corporate arena. Through this collaboration, Foster’s gains a reduction in energy costs and elevates its role as a responsible corporate citizen.”

Foster’s will host the system for a 25 year term and will have access to renewable energy at a reduced rate for each of the sites for the duration of the relationship.

“This is a smart way for us to do the right thing for the environment,” commented Scott Weiss, managing director of Foster’s. “By hosting the solar energy systems at our wineries, we’re helping to leverage the beautiful climate that grows world-class wine grapes to also generate clean energy. This is a great example of Sustainability at work – it’s good for the environment, our community, and our business.”

The combined system occupies 400,000 square feet of total rooftop structures and will eliminate 2.0 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year from the environment equating to:

The removal of 183 passenger cars from the roads each year.

More than 150,000 trees needed to eliminate this amount of CO2 from the environment per year.

The Bright Group, which specializes in integrated solar energy generation and innovative roof applications, founded Foster’s Wine Estates solar initiative in March of 2007. The company conducted pre-development engineering, system design including building allocation and roofing specifications. Stellar Energy Solutions served as the project’s engineer and general contractor responsible for the day-to-day operations and oversight of all sub-contractors during construction. The company will also will serve as the leading partner overseeing continued maintenance and operations of the solar project during its 25 year term.