Sundale Vineyards Installs 1.13-Megawatt Solar Photovoltaic System
TULARE, CA - Sundale Vineyards has completed a solar project to power its cold storage facility with assistance from the renewable energy investment tax credit (ITC). Work began on a 1.13-megawatt (MW) solar photovoltaic system at the vineyard in December of 2013.
This solar facility was built by Cenergy Power and is estimated to save Sundale $5.7 million in electricity costs over the next 25 years, the carbon equivalent of preserving 24,000 acres of forest and removing 30,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, according to the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits.
“We’ve looked at solar for a very long time, but about five or six years ago, it didn’t make sense financially. The prices have definitely come down,” said Todd Kinosian, Sundale Vineyards Owner. Sundale will receive the federal ITC for investing in the facility, which was another incentive for moving forward with the project.
Bill Pham, Cenergy Power’s CEO, said, “The investment tax credit played a significant role in this project because Sundale could effectively use 100 percent of the 30 percent ITC. This fact, combined with Sundale’s strong financial performance, made the financing used for this project very cost-effective.”
Pham expects the solar system to produce 1.8 million kilowatt hours (kWh) of clean energy a year, which will offset 91% of Sundale’s electricity bill and deliver a simple payback of just four years, according to Novogradac.
“This solar project is a testament to our commitment to the environment and social responsibility,” said Kinosian. “Sundale firmly believes that environmentally-conscious agriculture practices are vital to the sustainable growth of the industry.”
Pham added that the solar project should benefits Sundale in three main ways: reduced energy costs, advancement of the company’s environmental sustainability goals and improvement of its tax efficiency through the ITC.