AGL helps Yalumba uncork a cool and sustainable energy solution

AGL today announced the completion of a solar energy system at Yalumba’s warehouse in Perth which allows it to keep wine cool around the clock.

Yalumba Engineering Manager Jesse Auricht said the cool room, which stores millions of dollars of wine, had supply limitations which required employees to manually control air conditioning, lighting and other machinery to avoid loss of power.

He said that all changed when AGL completed the installation of a 19.38 kilowatt solar energy system at the 1,600 square metre facility at Welshpool, about 10 kilometres south-east of Perth’s central business district.

“The rooftop solar panels have enabled us to keep the cool room at a steady temperature 24/7, which is a good win,” Mr Auricht said.

AGL also upgraded 90 lights to energy efficient LEDs, which have motion and daylight sensors allowing them to turn off when not needed.

Under a power purchasing agreement, AGL build, owns and operates the solar PV system and Yalumba purchases the energy generated by the system for seven years at a lower rate than from the grid.

“We were cash flow positive from the start without any capital investment upfront which means we can get on with doing what we do best - investing in and making great wine,” he said.

“We also have an asset that we will own after seven years and which will continue to save us money after it is paid off.

“On top of that, the upgrade to more energy efficient lights will also provide savings.”

AGL Head of Delivery Operations Brendan Weinert said this project continued a partnership between two of Australia’s oldest companies dating back to 2016 when Yalumba engaged AGL to develop a cost effective and renewable energy solution to help it achieve its sustainability and business performance objectives globally.

This resulted in the installation of 1.99 megawatts of solar across the winemaker’s three locations in the Barossa Valley in South Australia and warehouses in Melbourne and Brisbane.

“We’re proud to work with a company that has such a strong commitment to sustainability and at the same time help it realise cost savings,” Mr Weinert said.