A California winery owned by Constellation Brands is in the process of installing solar panels on its Gonzales, California location.  Once the panel project is completed, it will produce approximately 1.7 million kilowatt hours of electricity.  The early estimates are that the panels will provide almost half of the facility's annual energy needs.

"The project, which is designed to decrease greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, is estimated through the lifetime of the system to annually reduce the facility’s carbon footprint in an amount equivalent to planting 2,500 acres of trees, not driving an average automobile 25 million miles, or taking more than 2,000 automobiles off the road." Source: Constellation

The installation includes 6,358 solar panels and once completed, it will be the world's largest solar energy system installed on a winery.  The announcement of this project comes on the heels of some mixed news on the financial side of the solar industry.

Many states across the nation have had to cut their solar incentive plans due to the lagging economy.  Solar installations are pricey and take years to recoup the cost and consumers were relying on the incentives to help counter the hefty upfront expenses. 

"When Congress expanded a federal tax credit for solar in October, removing a $2,000 cap on installation costs, a number of states redirected their own incentive funding, and more are expected to do the same." Source: MNN

For more information on the solar industry, read my other posts: Wal-Mart Solar project completed, Solar power at the Grand Canyon and Solar technology firm reduces workforce.

Photo by mashajojic

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