Sustainable wine making at one of Australia’s favourite wineries

How a tailor-made solar solution helps Yalumba to maintain its reputation as one of Australia’s most sustainable winemakers.

Community
5 min read
Our partnership with Yalumba has delivered one of Australia's largest solar installations at a winery, and many other sustainability achievements.

Over the last three years, we’ve worked with Yalumba on the delivery of multiple energy projects across the business’ multiple commercial sites. These include the completion of innovative projects totaling almost 2MW of solar across the winemaker’s three Barossa locations and warehouse in Victoria, Queensland, and Brisbane.

For the past 175 years, AGL has been a leader in energy innovation, and our ongoing partnership with Yalumba is no exception. Yalumba engaged AGL to develop a cost effective and renewable energy solution that would help it achieve its sustainability and business performance objectives.

The result? One of the largest solar system installations at an Australian winery. AGL also assisted Yalumba to further reduce its energy costs by upgrading existing lighting to energy efficient LED lights at a number of the winemaker’s sites.

Here are five facts about the project and the ongoing partnership between AGL and Yalumba:

1. A partnership between two of Australia’s oldest companies

After 167 years of making some of Australia’s finest wine, Yalumba sought a trusted partner with a similar heritage to create a sustainable energy solution tailored to meet its business needs. Thanks to AGL’s expertly designed solar solution, Yalumba has been able to reduce its overheads and ensure that its business is powered in part by clean, renewable energy.

2. It allowed Yalumba to preserve its capital

Yalumba took advantage of AGL’s solar Smart Plan, also called a ‘Power Purchase Agreement’ (PPA). With a solar Smart Plan, AGL designs, installs, owns and maintains the system – and Yalumba simply purchases the energy generated by the system for a defined term. There was no upfront capital outlay required by Yalumba, which gave them the flexibility to invest in other parts of the business.

In addition, Yalumba was able to start saving from the day the system was switched on by paying a low, predictable rate for solar energy – a rate lower than their current grid tariff and one which will continue well into the future. AGL will also monitor and maintain the system to ensure good performance, meaning Yalumba can focus on its core business: making great wine.

3. It’s a tailored solution for a unique application

AGL understands the importance of creating a bespoke solution to meet specific business needs.

During the consultation process, the team at AGL worked closely with Yalumba to define and understand the winemaker’s business requirements – in order to optimise the design of the solar system. Understanding Yalumba’s energy consumption profile was critical in determining the size and layout of the system, to ensure it would help Yalumba achieve positive financial and environmental outcomes.

Just as important to the success of the project was the delivery of the solar system. Installed across three operational locations over a period of six months, AGL worked with Yalumba at every step to ensure that safety and quality were never compromised – and that the system was delivered to Yalumba’s expectations

4. An example of Yalumba’s commitment to sustainable winemaking

Yalumba already understood the importance of protecting the fundamental elements essential to creating great wine; it’s part of their business ethos and corporate social responsibility. The installation of a clean, renewable energy solution complements Yalumba’s existing sustainability initiatives and cements its position as one of Australia’s most sustainable winemakers.

5. It helped Yalumba meet its sustainability objectives

Environmental sustainability is an important goal at Yalumba. AGL’s solar systems will generate approximately 2,900 MWh of clean, renewable energy annually for an expected 25 years. This is equivalent to the average electricity usage of 580 South Australian homes*. Additionally, the LED lighting upgrades will save 235MWh of electricity and combined with the renewable energy generated at Yalumba sites, approximately 1,650 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions will be offset each year.


*AEC residential electricity use and customer numbers per state for FY2015 (Electricity Gas Australia 2016).

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