AGL today announced it had completed Australia’s largest combined winery solar installation with the opening of a solar-powered car park for Pernod Ricard Winemakers in South Australia.

AGL’s Head of Delivery Operations, Brendan Weinert, said the employee car park at the Rowland Flat winery was the final stage of a 3.0 megawatt solar energy system at Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ two Barossa Valley wineries.

He said the 10,354 solar panels installed at the Rowland Flat and Tanunda wineries were expected to generate more than 4,000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity in the first year.

“We’re proud to have contributed to Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ ambition of sourcing all of electricity from renewable sources,” Mr Weinert.

“The car park includes electric vehicle charging facilities which means some Pernod Ricard Winemakers employees really will be able to drive with the power of the sun in the future.

“The chargers give electric cars a driving range of between 30 and 40 kilometres per hour of charging, which is further than the average Australian drives in a day and a more efficient charge than from a standard wall plug.”

Mr Weinert said many companies were realising the value of solar energy in helping them to better manage their energy costs and save money on bills.

“Winemakers, in particular, have a strong commitment to operating sustainably as their livelihood depends on a healthy environment including soil, water and sunshine,” he said.

“As the cost of solar energy systems becomes more economical and all businesses recognise the impact of climate change, the attractiveness of solar continues to increase.

“Installing solar panels on car parks may be a practical solution for businesses which want to go solar but have limited roof space.”

Pernod Ricard Winemakers Chief Operations Officer Brett McKinnon said: “Pernod Ricard Winemakers is thankful for AGL’s contribution which has enabled us to become the first large wine company in Australia to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity and home to Australia’s largest combined winery solar installation”.

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