20 September 2023 – Vergelegen wine estate in Somerset West, renowned for its myriad sustainability initiatives, has marked another milestone in environmental responsibility and cost savings.

The  winery has installed a solar power plant that has taken it completely off the grid. This investment involved installing six solar tables, comprising a total of 500 panels, covering an impressive 1400m².

In addition to the panels, the winery has installed three inverters and a one-megawatt battery. This will ensure that the cellar can still run on the battery during harvesting, even if there is no sun.

“The difference in carbon emissions will be determined over time,  but the entire electricity bill for the cellar will be saved as the cellar will run 100% off the solar plant,” says Vergelegen environmental project manager  Eben Olderwagen. “There will also be the diesel cost saving and no emissions from the generator during loadshedding.

“The energy not used by the cellar will be pushed into the grid and be credited on the rest of the site’s account, resulting in money saving on electricity bills for the entire estate.”

Vergelegen winemaker Luke O’Cuinneagain said, “I believe that sustainability and wine-making go hand in hand. Installing solar panels at our winery is not just a practical decision, it’s a statement of our commitment to the environment and to producing exceptional wines. It’s a win-win for our winery and the planet.”

The supplier company is LRG Solar.