This was the major cornerstone of a project supported by the Commonweath Government’s Clean Technology Investment Program.
The solar PV system is capable of supplying the winery’s power needs for most of the year, with supplementary power only needed during the peak harvest period.
As part of the company’s $440,000 investment, Katnook Estate also insulated its wine tanks, installed a power factor correction unit and set up a state-of-the-art refrigeration system with an innovative heat capture function.
This utilises the heat generated by the refrigeration process to heat water for the winery.
Senior winemaker Wayne Stehbens was instrumental in designing and overseeing the project.
“This is an integral part of our commitment to constant improvement in all facets of our business,” he said.
“Working with innovative, efficient technology gives us great confidence that Katnook will not only improve wine quality but reduce the impact of production on our stunning local environment.
“Cost savings are really just the icing on the cake.”
Independent of the grant and as part of its ongoing commitment to reducing environmental impact, Katnook Estate invested further by installing a 10kW solar PV system to supply all power needs for the property’s historic limestone cellar door and functions areas; and a cool air harvester to transfer the cool night air to the Katnook barrel room to minimise the refrigeration load.
The energy used to transfer the cool air in is the fraction of the energy required to air condition the barrel room.
These initiatives are expected to reduce Katnook Estate’s carbon emissions by 94 per cent and will result in savings of $48,000 in energy costs per year.