Why solar power is a perfect fit for wine estates in Sussex

Wine making in Sussex has grown tremendously in recent years, and as wineries and vineyards now become both more common and larger in size, there is a stronger case than ever for these businesses to consider the adoption of ground mounted solar power.

Wineries and vineyards make excellent candidates for solar power due to the significant amount of land available, and because of the relatively energy intensive nature of some aspects of the wine making business.

As sustainable business practices and corporate responsibility become more prominent in the eyes of customers, it is increasingly important for businesses to demonstrate that they are taking adequate steps to reduce the environmental impact of their operations.

In most cases, introducing energy saving and renewable energy technologies will not only improve your appeal to customers who expect  sound environmental practices, but it will also deliver a significant reduction in your operating costs.

As recent event have show, the cost of energy can be volatile and unpredictable. Due to the spike in gas prices, high energy overheads have now become one of the most expensive operational costs for a business.

As fossil fuels become more scarce, and as governments bring in policies to disincentivise their use, relying on oil and gas for your heat and power supply will become more and more expensive and unpredictable. Taking action now to install energy saving and renewable energy generating technologies is a forward-thinking long-term business investment that will reap rewards for decades ahead.

If you are thinking about installing renewable energy technologies at your wine estate, here are a few things that you may wish to consider:

Why energy saving technologies can deliver big benefits for wine estates

Improving the energy efficiency of a winery or indeed any business will improve the overall efficiency of the estate, whilst generating minimal disruption to operations. With energy prices continuing to rise for the foreseeable future, it is vital for wine producers to make every effort to minimise energy loss and inefficiency.

The most effective way to ensure good energy management on an estate is to fully understand how and where energy is used. This can be achieved through the introduction of energy monitoring and metering systems, collecting the detailed data required to make informed decisions and to design an effective long-term energy performance strategy.

One you have a clear idea of which aspects of your operation are consuming the most power and incurring the greatest costs, you can take proactive measures to reduce energy consumption by introducing energy efficiency technologies and smart power saving devices.

Combining solar power with battery storage for maximum cost efficiency

In peak Summer months, depending on the energy demand and generation capacity of the winery, there is a likelihood that more energy is being generated than can be consumed on site.

Since the withdrawal of the Feed-In-Tariff subsidy in 2019, which provided generators with a payment for the clean electricity that they exported to the electricity grid, the most effective way for solar panel owners to get the best use out of their array is through the addition of battery storage.

Battery storage technologies enable solar power generators to store excess electricity that is not required at the time that it is being generated. This stored electricity can then be utilised later in the evening when solar generation is lower. Alternatively, the stored energy can be exported for a profit to an energy company or to a nearby neighbour via a peer-to-peer trading platform.

The addition of battery storage will also provide the battery owner with the option to provide ‘flexibility services’ to the regional electricity Distribution Network Operator (in Sussex and the South East, this is UK Power Networks). Whilst playing an invaluable role in the creation of a low-carbon modern energy network, which is key for transitioning to a sustainable energy system, providing flexibility services can also present new revenue generating opportunities – more on that here.

Starting your journey to a clean energy future for your wine estate

Without a doubt, wineries (and especially wineries in Sussex and the South of England) are excellent candidates for on-site renewable energy generation.

With energy prices from suppliers looking like they will see increasing volatility and uncertainty for the future, it makes more business sense than ever for wine estates to embrace the renewable energy revolution and to integrate solar power and battery storage technologies with their existing operations.

If you are interested in taking the first steps on the journey to zero-carbon energy independence then please complete the contact form below and the BHESCo Projects Team will get back to you.

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