King Estate Winery cuts ribbon on four acre solar panel array
EUGENE, Ore. (KMTR) -- Celebration at King Estate Winery as it has cut the ribbon on one of the largest solar power panel arrays ever built in the Eugene-Springfield area.
King Estate Winery showcased its giant new four acre solar array on Saturday, July 14th, 2012.
The four acre solar patch translates to 1-megawatt of power generation, or enough to electrify 100 local homes.
The panels went online in March 2012. Since then, they’ve offset the CO2 equivalent of 160 mature trees. The panels should last at least 25 years, if not more, offsetting at least 38-million pounds of CO2.
King Estate’s owner Ed King says he chose to do the project because it met the winery’s long-term sustainability efforts. The array is the largest at a winery in the Pacific Northwest.
King hopes the work will inspire a deeper investment in clean energy from others across Oregon.
“Here's 4 acres that we dedicated to producing solar energy, the same thing could happen on many other 4 acres around the state,” said King in an interview with NewsSource 16 on Saturday.
“That's the point of an example, an example shows other what will happen if you do this. An example shows other what you can do, and so the future depends on us to create a series of example, said King.
“4 acres, 100 homes, 4-thousand acres, 400-thousand homes, this is the model we have to build on,” said King.
King Estate Winery is Lane Electric’s largest customer. All of the electricity generated in the panels will go to Lane Electric’s grid. The panels are enough to cover 60% of King Estate’s needs.
The panels will continues to generate solar power year round, even during the winter when its cloudy and the sun’s angle differs in the way that it hits the Earth.
The project took about five years to plan, but only took crews four months to build, with work starting in October 2012.