St Ignatius Vineyard and Winery
“The Agriculture Energy Investment Plan has given us the advice and support required to accelerate our on-farm energy efficiency, delivering significant savings which can be redirected into business growth initiatives. We expect the benefits from the project to be maintained into the future.”
Enrique and Silvia Diaz
– Owners, St Ignatius Vineyard and Winery
On-farm energy assessment
In June 2019, St. Ignatius Vineyard owners Silvia and Enrique Diaz undertook a free Type 1 Energy Assessment offered as part of the Victorian Government’s Agriculture Energy Investment Plan. The main energy source for the site is a two-phase electricity supply to the property.
The assessment covered all energy consuming equipment across the vineyard, including processing, temperature control and lighting systems. The energy assessor developed an annual energy use breakdown and identified the energy patterns and consumption. This was used to identify recommendations for the vineyard to improve processes and reduce waste, save money and move away from reliance on traditional energy to clean energy sources.
The vineyard owners said, “the assessor was very good and was knowledgeable and focused on energy improvements”. Recommendations from the assessment report included upgrading an outdated R22 single phase chiller unit with a modern, efficient and ozone friendly three phase chiller and installing a solar system and temperature control for the warehouse and processing areas.
Silvia and Enrique received a grant of $21,200 through the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan’s Tier 1 grants program. The grant will support implementation of measures identified in their on-farm energy assessment including upgrading to an energy efficient chiller and installing a single to three phase converter to provide a more economical solution than having three phase power supplied from the grid. In addition, the St. Ignatius farm will have 21kW of solar installed to reduce the vineyard’s reliance on grid electricity. The owners also intend installing a temperature control system in the future.
Total energy savings from this project are estimated to be up to $7,700 per annum, which will reduce the current energy bills by up to 95 per cent.
Mrs Diaz noted that “big” items for their farm may be considered “small” for larger farms and corporates, however, investing in the recommended “big ticket items” was made easier with the support of a grant through the Agriculture Energy Investment Plan.