Green Prophet has already reported on Kibbutz Tzuba switching to wine production because of the decreased water needs of grapes. Now Israeli wine is going even greener, with solar power. This past Monday, Sunday Energy Ltd. (Isra’el’s leading solar energy service provider) announced that it had completed installing a 50 kW Peak solar system on the roof of the Carmey Avdat winery located in the Israeli Negev desert.
Since the winery is located in an area that consistently gets a lot of sun, the installation on the 200 square meter roof of the winery is expected to meet approximately 65 percent of Carmey Avdat’s annual energy needs.
Thus making them Israel’s first solar powered wine producer.
Eyal Izrael, co-founder of the Carmey Avdat winery, said that the company intended to put the solar power to immediate use and that “thanks to Sunday’s excellent work installing our solar roof, our winery, starting with the 2009 vintage, will produce wine with the help of solar energy. As a socially-responsible company, producing “green” wine was always a goal, and is an important step for us in reducing our carbon footprint and contributing to the reduction of greenhouse gasses emitted into the atmosphere each year.”
Hannah and Eyal Izrael have always respected the natural environment of their vineyard, however, and as they describe on the Carmey Avdat website, “we learned to listen to the voices of the desert and to respect it – but not to attempt to tame it.” They also describe how their winery is located on the site of an ancient vineyard from the Nabbatean period – over 2000 years ago.
Sunday Energy CEO Kobi Dinar wrote about the project that “the Carmey Avdat installation required a unique skill set that only our multi-disciplinary team of engineers and architects was able to provide, makind Sunday the obvious choice for this project.”
The Carmey Avdat solar roof project follows other tenders previously secured by Sunday Energy, such as the Tel Aviv municipality bid to install solar energy systems on school rooftops, the Kiryat Ono tender for installations on the municipality’s public buildings, the largest solar roof installation in the Middle East on the Ormat factory in Yavne, and a planned installation on the Dalton Winery. Sunday Energy is also planning to construct solar farms across Israel over the next 2-3 years.
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