June 5, 2017– Our 28kW solar energy generation system went live on October 23, 2015. After 18 months of generating and using electricity produced on-site, the system is exceeding our expectations. Here is a summary of the system’s performance to date:
Our 108 photo-voltaic panels have generated 52 megawatt-hours of electricity since October 2015. The system has reduced our business’s carbon dioxide emissions by 27.45 tons. That is the equivalent of planting 704 trees. Looked at another way, 27.45 tons of CO2 is the amount an average car would produce while driving 113,697 miles. That’s 19 round-trips from New York City to San Fransisco, or the lifetime of one very reliable car.
The system was designed to generate enough energy over the course of a year to power our wine production, wine retail and wine storage operation. In 2016, the system generated 35,165 kwh and we used 28,233 kwh. That means we generated 25% more electricity than we used. Silver Thread is acting as a mini-power plant for the energy grid in New York State!
Thanks to Qwik Solar, our solar installer, we have a kiosk in our tasting room that lets you monitor the performance of our solar array in real time. Please check it out the next time you visit.
At Silver Thread, we see the conversion to renewable power as an important and ongoing process. Although we have virtually eliminated our electricity bills (we still get charged a service fee for being connected to the energy grid), we continue to look for ways to reduce the carbon emissions of our tractors and other farm equipment. Stay tuned for news about our tractor electrification project…