ASHLAND, Ore. — A local winery went solar in early September.
Purelight Power installed more than 500 solar panels on the roof of the winery.
“People don’t always realize it, but grapes and wines use the sun’s energy to grow and develop,” said Edwin Kerwin, owner and founder of Belle Fiore.
The company produces more than 250 kilowatts of energy for its wineries and tasting room.
It’s also a great way to help the wine’s overall flavor, Kerwin says.
“We remove the leaves from the base of the grape vines to allow the sun to hit the grapes, which promotes ripening and optical wine characteristics.”
Each panel helps to create the desired amount of solar radiation from each solar panel.
“About 20 percent of our panels are on the south-facing roof,” Kerwin said. “And about 65 percent of our panels face west.”
The installation of these panels also reduced the company’s overall energy costs.
“Not only is it a great way to beautify our winery and take advantage of the sun that bounces off our rooftops,” Kerwin said. “But it’s a smart business investment that will help reduce our energy costs.”
Belle Fiore is also the first winery to plant vineyards in 2007.