Trees are cleared on a south-facing slope for the new solar array.

Trees are cleared on a south-facing slope for the new solar array at Silver Thread.

July 20, 2015–Today, Silver Thread Vineyard broke ground on a 28 kilowatt solar panel system that is expected to provide 100% of the winery’s energy needs.  The system will be installed by Qwik Solar of Geneva, NY, and should be operational in time for grape harvest this fall.  The system will consist of 108 panels, some of which will be roof-mounted and some placed on a ground array.

Silver Thread’s winery is already a very energy-efficient facility– the building is set into the hillside for natural temperature control, is very well-insulated, and is heated and cooled by a highly-efficient air-source heat pump–which makes it an excellent case study for solar energy.  The winery only uses electricity, and the solar system is sized to provide 100% of the winery’s annual energy needs.

“We are very excited to kick our business’s dependence on fossil fuels,” said Shannon Brock, co-owner and general manager of Silver Thread.  “Given the threat of climate change globally and the immediate threat to the Finger Lakes of Crestwood’s proposed gas storage project, there couldn’t be a better time for renewable energy.  Silver Thread has stood for environmental responsibility since its founding in 1991, and we are proud to carry on that tradition with this solar project.”

The winery would like to thank NYSERDA for its generous support of this project.