45KW Margaret River, WA
Roof Mount, Grid Connect, Remotely Monitored
The Cullen winemaking approach is that they will do whatever it takes to make outstanding wines. Quality is paramount and every winemaking step incorporates this philosophy. The wines can only be as good as the grapes. The uniqueness of Cullen Wines comes in part from the vineyard. The role of the winemaker is to act as caretaker to the fruit – to understand and to realise the full potential of the vineyard and the fruit which comes into the winery.
Diana and Kevin Cullen had such great foresight to plant on one of the great winegrowing sites in Margaret River. The process of making their wine involves handling the fruit as little and as gently as possible. Practices such as hand harvesting, very little fruit transport, sorting of the fruit before crushing, minimal wine movement, minimal fining for the Whites, no fining for the Reds, and minimal filtration is used. This helps to ensure that the wine in the bottle is a true expression of the fruit that it is made from Cullen Wines.
Cullen engaged WAAE to perform a detailed Energy Assessment to provide them with a site specific Viability Report outlining how they could reduce the energy consumption costs for their business. Cullen wanted to both reduce its electricity consumption and try to reduce its ongoing increasing costs from its retailer. It was determined a 45 kW solar energy system was the best fit for the site.
The 45kW solar energy system was built on the winery buildings. Because this system is over 30Kva we were required to conform with a more stringent set of connection rules from Western Power. The system has to match the load with the production of the PV plant at all times in real time meaning no export to the grid. This control circuit was done wirelessly as the meter was more than 200m from the PV plant otherwise we would have had to dig up existing roads and gardens within the restaurant grounds which would have been disruptive to their operations.
The system will reduce the electricity consumption from the grid by 38% and reduce their electricity costs by 46%. This will also give Cullen leverage in determining their peak power price in the future.
WAAE received the SWSBA 2014 Innovation Award for our design for this project.