Australia’s largest solar installation at Yalumba

AGL and Yalumba recently celebrated the completion of a Australia's largest solar installation across the winemaker’s three Barossa Valley sites.

5 min read
AGL and Yalumba recently celebrated the completion of an innovative project – the installation of a 1.39 MW solar system across the winemaker’s three Barossa Valley sites.

For the past 175 years, AGL has been a leader in energy innovation. Its most recent partnership with Yalumba is no exception. In 2016, 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? The largest solar system installation ever seen at an Australian winery.

Watch the video and join us as we explore this groundbreaking venture.

Here we bring you everything you need to know about the project in five facts.

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 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

As solar experts, AGL understands the importance of creating a bespoke solution to meet specific business needs.

During the consultation process, 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 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 44 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 system will generate approximately 2,050 MWh of clean, renewable energy annually – which is equivalent to the electricity consumed in 410 average South Australian homes* – and offset approximately 1,080 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year, for an expected 25 years.

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