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Pioneering wine producer makes the move to solar

4 February 2014

For six generations, Drayton’s Family Wines has been producing some of the Hunter Valley’s finest wines – and now the pioneering family-owned business has laid the groundwork for future generations by installing one of the region’s largest solar power systems.

Bob Baldwin, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry, today visited the company’s winery at Pokolbin to switch on the company’s new 200 kilowatt solar power system. Along with new energy efficient lighting and an upgraded refrigeration system, the project is expected to save the company around $83,000 a year in energy costs.

“I congratulate Drayton’s Family Wines for investing in this large solar field array, and other energy saving measures,” Mr Baldwin said.

“As well as helping the company’s bottom line, this investment is socially responsible as it is helping Australia reduce its carbon emissions. Drayton’s Family Winery expects the measures will reduce its emissions intensity by an impressive 68.5 per cent.”

The company’s General Manager, John Drayton, says he hopes the $445,164 project – which was partly funded by a Government grant of $222,582 – will encourage other wine producers in the region to invest in energy saving measures.

“The 800 solar panels we have installed have become a talking point in the region. Hopefully other wine producers will follow our example and realise that investments like this are good for business, as well as the environment. After a four-year payback period, we will be making substantial savings,” Mr Drayton said.

“We also hope to be able to increase production, which will help us meet our strategic goals, including increasing sales internationally, especially to China.”

The project was funded by the Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program, which is closed to new applications.

In December 2013 the Government released the Emissions Reduction Fund Green Paper. The Fund will help the Government implement a practical policy to achieve emissions reductions; a policy that delivers benefits to Australian landholders and businesses to strengthen the economy.

Media contact:  Mr Baldwin's office (02) 6277 4200