Pernod Ricard Winemakers has switched on the first stage of its massive solar installation project, which is part of the company’s commitment to sourcing 100 per cent renewable electricity in Australia by mid-2019.

The installation utilises much of the roof space at the Jacob’s Creek winery in the Barossa Valley, which will become the largest combined winery solar installation in Australia and will supply 20 per cent of the business’ annual electricity usage.

Speaking at yesterday’s launch Helen Strachan, PRW’s Legal and Corporate Affairs Director said that this move towards 100 per cent renewable electricity highlights the company’s commitment to responsibility and sustainability.

“At Pernod Ricard Winemakers we meet every moment with passion, creativity and commitment. It’s no longer enough for us to think about incorporating responsibility and sustainability into our business strategy, it has to be at the centre of our business and it is.

“Today we are flicking the switch on the first stage of what will be the largest private solar installation usage in South Australia.”

Strachan also announced that to reach the 100 per cent renewable electricity target, PRW has signed a landmark 10-year Virtual Generation Agreement with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power.

Stephen Cook, Sustainable Development Manager, added: “This project has been a long time coming and it’s great to see how many people from across the company have been involved.

“The project incorporates 10,000 panels across the site, which if you put side-by-side it would it be the equivalent of the Adelaide Oval playing surface. It’s also a registered power station and when it’s completed it will generate around 4000 megawatt hours of renewable electricity in the first year.”

Brendan Weinert, AGL’s Manager Business Solutions, said: “AGL is excited to partner with Pernod Ricard Winemakers in delivering a sustainable energy solution to its iconic Australian brand, based in the Barossa Valley.

“What’s really impressive about this is seeing an organisation with such history taking a lead in sustainability, not just in a local region but across Australia.”

The deal with Flow Power means the remaining 80 per cent of the business’ annual electricity requirement will be met by solar and wind for the next 10 years though Flow Power.

David Evans, Flow Power’s Director Commercial and Engineering, said: “Flow Power is excited that Pernod Ricard Winemakers will be the first South Australian business to come on board our Hybrid Power Purchase Agreement. By matching both solar and wind Power Purchase Agreements, Pernod Ricard Winemakers receives a cost-effective means to get to 100 per cent renewables.”

The commitment to its own solar project combined with the VGA will allow Pernod Ricard Winemakers Australia to achieve its ambition to source 100 per cent renewable electricity for the whole company, including corporate offices, well ahead of its original plans.

Andy Young

Andy joined Intermedia as Editor of The Shout in 2015, writing news on a daily basis and also writing features for National Liquor News. Now Managing Editor of both The Shout and Bars and Clubs.

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