LEED Certified California Winery Decides to go 100% Solar

LEED Certified Winery Goes Solar

Niner Wine Estates, a , family-owned winery in Paso Robles’new Willow Creek sub appellation, announced today that the winery has installed a solar array on their Heart Hill property that will provide 100% of the electrical power needs of the winery, tasting room and restaurant.


Installation was carried out by REC Solar, which has completed similar arrays at other California wineries and businesses.

LEED Certified Winery Goes SolarFacts about the Niner Wine Estates Project:

  • Contractor: REC Solar, San Luis Obispo, Calif.
  • Type of Arrays:  Ground-based next to the tasting room generates 156kW and Roof-mounted on the main winery generates 203kW
  • Annual Production:  
  • Over 600,000 MWh (100% of winery needs)

Over 25 years, the clean energy generated by the Niner solar systems is equivalent to

  • Greenhouse gas emissions from 2,988 tons of waste sent to a landfill
  • Greenhouse gas emissions from 1,755 passenger vehicles
  •  CO2 emissions from 938,007 gallons of gasoline burned
  •  CO2 emissions from 761 homes’ energy use for one year
  •  Carbon sequestered by 6,833 acres of forest in one year

“It’s really just another step in an ongoing process of figuring out how to make our business more environmentally sustainable,” said winery president Andy Niner.  Niner added that the winery owns all of its own vineyards, recycles all of its waste water, and now has an on-site restaurant that will utilize fruits, vegetables, eggs and even wheat grown on the estate property.  What they don’t grow themselves is sourced by Executive Chef Maegen Loring locally.

For Niner, the cost of solar is less about being part of a trend than it is about living up to the ideals upon which the winery was originally founded: “It goes along with our focus on ‘estate,’ says Andy Niner.  “We own all of our own vineyards, we make all of our wine on-site and are developing our own estate food program.  Controlling wine quality over the long-term is all about improving the quality of our land and limiting negative impacts on the environment.”

Founded by Richard Niner in 2001, Niner Wine Estates produces a wide range of varietal wines from their three estate vineyard sites in San Luis Obispo County.  In addition to their main LEED certified facility, the family has a small “winery-within-a-winery” designed entirely for the production of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from theirEdna Valley property.

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