Peachy Canyon Winery goes solar
–Peachy Canyon Winery recently announced it is now net-zero traditional power thanks to newly installed solar arrays. The system utilizes about 980 solar panels to cover 80 acres, including several irrigation wells, a 50,000 square-foot winery, the Chronic Cellars tasting room, and two residences.
Conversion to solar first started about 10 years ago when owners, Doug and Nancy Beckett, installed solar panels on their home. By taking advantage of the solar technology available today, the Becketts were able to cut the cost of installation and put more modern, efficient panels on the property through local Atascadero energy company Solarponics.
The total cost of both the new panels and the panels on the Beckett house, about $950,000, is well worth it if it means eliminating a $120,000 per year electric bill, said Doug Beckett. “Our goal, and I know that we’re going to achieve it, is that by the end of the year we produce more electricity than we use.”
Beckett has worked toward making the winery as sustainable as possible, careful to minimize its impacts to air quality, water depletion, and land abuse. “Even if you just look at our vineyard at the Old School House, we left in the old oak trees, even though it creates various areas where you can’t plant grapes,” Beckett said. “Because it allows for habitat, you have places for different creatures to live and hide.”
As a winery that makes a statement on the international marketplace, Beckett explained that he believes it’s important for Peachy Canyon to set an example as an environmentally conscious producer. “In this world, in the environment, there’s a give and take. So, though we are not the first winery to install solar power, we’re really proud to have joined that community. And we look forward to more wineries joining us.”