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Project Summary 
System size30kW
Number of solar panels120 x 250W
Inverters3 x SMA TriPower 10000TL
Daily average system output138kWh solar contribution per day
CO2 savings per annum672 tonne


ZEN Energy Systems installed a 30kW solar energy system on the roof of Alkoomi Wines cellar door in early 2013. The 120-panel system will help protect the remote winery from ever-increasing power costs.

About the project

Alkoomi Wines is located in the Frankland River district of the Great Southern Wine Region in Western Australia. The winery, located 330km south of Perth, has 102 hectares under vine and produces some of the finest wines made in Australia, including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Semillon and Viognier varieties.

Owned by Sandy and Rod Hallett since 2010, the winery produces about 80,000 cases each year, which are distributed all over Australia and to more than 20 markets worldwide.

The Alkoomi Cellar Door is open every day of the year except Christmas Day, Boxing Day, Good Friday and the morning of Anzac Day, and attracts more than 2000 annual visitors. The cellar door includes a function room with kitchen and bar that can accommodate up to 80 people. The room, completed in 2004, has hosted many weddings, family gatherings and conferences.

A ZEN Energy Systems’ staff member took the initiative to visit the remote winery in 2012 and to alert the Halletts to the benefits of solar energy. Impressed with the cost savings that would flow if the winery started generating its own power, Mr Hallett sourced several quotes for a solar energy system.

But the fact ZEN had done the initial groundwork together with the company’s extensive experience in delivering quality solar installations to the wine industry convinced him to choose ZEN for the project.

Designing the project

The Halletts’ motivation for installing a solar energy system was to stabilise their rapidly-rising costs to power the winery and cellar door and to protect themselves from future electricity price increases.

ZEN’s highly qualified staff made several site visits to the remote winery to determine the best panel configuration on the cellar door’s roof to maximise the number that could fit.

It was decided that designing the solar array in a landscape format would achieve the most efficient system.

The thorough site inspections by ZEN’s staff in the lead-up to the solar energy system being installed ensured the project was delivered seamlessly.

How the system works

The 120-panel system is mounted to the roof of the cellar door. All energy produced by the system is used to help power the winery and cellar door, including pumps on a refrigeration plant recently installed at the winery.

Mr Hallett said he planned on making the solar energy system work even more for him, by installing a computer so the refrigeration only came on when there was excess power available, or at off-peak times.

ZEN solution

ZEN Energy Systems provided Alkoomi Wines with a system that focused on ‘energy yield,’ an important measure of renewable energy and one which maximises the amount of CO2 that can be offset.

Project outcomes

ZEN Energy Systems installed Alkoomi Wine’s solar energy system on time and on the budget.

Mr Hallett said he planned to use the solar energy system in the winery’s marketing. He said this would be beneficial when it came to exports, particularly to the Canadian market, which puts a huge emphasis on green initiatives.

He said he could not fault ZEN’s work and would recommend the company to any business considering installing a solar energy system so they too can start benefiting from the cost savings that flow from generating your own power.

“I have no hesitation in recommending ZEN to any company thinking of installing a solar energy system.”

Rod Hallett | Owner, Alkoomi Wines

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