Oregon Winery Turns Sunlight Into Clean Power

Just a few panels more and King Estate could have called it an even megawatt. Nevertheless, at 973.84 kilowatts (kW) the solar-power system going in at the Oregon winery is pretty impressive. King Estate said it will be the biggest in the Pacific Northwest, and from what we can figure it’s also right up there with some of the larger systems in California.

“Our philosophy is rooted in sustainable agriculture and environmentally-conscious business practices, as evidenced by our dedication to organic farming. Installing a large-scale solar power system is a natural progression for us,” said Ed King, CEO & co-founder of King Estate.

solar powered winery, King Estate, Oregon

image via King Estate

The man has evidence to back up these green claims: King Estate has a 1,033-acre, certified-organic vineyard believed to be the world’s largest contiguous organic vineyard.

The solar project, which is expected to produce enough power to offset annual greenhouse gas emissions equivalent to nearly 3,400 passenger cars, was developed by Advanced Energy Systems, with financial and integration help from SolarCity. Lane Electric is the partner on the utility side.

Down in California, J. Lohr says it has a 3-acre solar PV tracking system that “is the largest of any winery in North America.” It checks in at 756 kW. We’ve also reported on installations around 1 MW in size at wineries owned by the conglomerate Constellation.

Pete Danko is a writer and editor based in Portland, Oregon. His work has appeared in Breaking Energy, National Geographic's Energy Blog, The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere.