Pernod Ricard flick big solar switch at Rowland Flat site

Wine giant Pernod Ricard has committed to sourcing 100 per cent renewable electricity in Australia by mid-2019, supporting the company’s global sustainability and responsibility goals.

The announcement comes as Pernod Ricard Winemakers celebrated in front of a crowd the official ‘switch-on’ of 1MW of solar-generated electricity at its Rowland Flat Winery last week.

The flick of the switch was made by Schubert MP electoral assistant Rheanne Mann marks the first completed stage of the company’s massive 2.8MW solar installation project.

When completed in mid-2019, this will be the largest combined winery solar installation in Australia and will supply 20 per cent of the business’ annual electricity usage.

Supporting the creation of some of Australia’s leading iconic wines from Jacob’s Creek.

Working alongside AGL Energy, the solar installation is expected to generate around 4,000 MWh of renewable electricity in the first year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumed annually in about 800 South Australian homes.

To reach 100 per cent renewable electricity, Pernod Ricard Winemakers has signed a landmark 10-year Virtual Generation Agreement (VGA) with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power, to connect the business with renewable electricity sources.

The business will be the first in South Australia that is connected to both offsite wind and solar farms.

This 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.

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 well ahead of its original plans.

Pernod Ricard winemakers’ legal and corporate affairs director Helen Strachan said the agreement demonstrates Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ commitment to sustainability and responsibility.

“We are doing everything within our means to draw upon renewable energy, both in terms of our own renewable electricity sources at our winery and our commitment to supporting the renewable energy industry.”

“We are excited to be leaders in defining the future of sustainable business in a rapidly changing environment,” she added.

“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,” AGL Business Solutions manager Brendan Weinert said.

While Flow Power’s director commercial and engineering David Evans 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.”