A leading environmentally-sustainable winery in New Zealand has received funding from the Energy Efficiency and Conservation Authority (EECA) to construct a purpose-built boiler designed to turn vine prunings into energy.
The new Bio-Mass boiler will help Yealands winery save around 22 tons of LPG a year, which in turn means the company’s total carbon footprint for LPG will be reduced to zero.
Owner and founder Peter Yealands was pleased to receive the funding and says the Bio-Mass Boiler will be specially designed to heat the winery’s water and glycol – a liquid that is pumped into ‘jackets’ around fermentation tanks to heat or cool the wine.
In the past vine prunings have been used for composting and mulch, but with the new boiler in place, 10 % of the vine prunings will now be baled after each vintage and burnt.
The heat energy created will be trapped and used to heat the water and glycol. The Bio-Mass Boiler is currently under construction in the US and should be up and running by the end of the year.
Peter said of the initiative:
“The wine-making business is hugely energy intensive, and heating and cooling wine accounts for roughly 85% of the winery’s total energy consumption. This new initiative is evidence that sustainable wine production is not only possible, it is commercially viable. Our mission is to become New Zealand’s most sustainable winery and this is just another step in achieving that goal.”
Yealands are already industry leaders in sustainable practice, having achieved carboNZeroCertTM certification from Landcare Research in April 2009.
They have implemented other great environmental initiatives including solar panels, insulated tanks, wind-powered electricity generators, grazing miniature babydoll sheep as an alternative to tractor mowing, harvesting storm water to irrigate the vineyards around the winery and developing more than 20 wetland areas to preserve native species and attract native birds.
Article by Kate R., appearing courtesy Celsias
photo: Mr. T in DC