What Kentucky Vineyard Uses Solar Panels to Produce Wine
Can solar panels be used at a vineyard? In what way? Is there one in Kentucky that uses panels? If so, where in Kentucky?
Cedar Creek Vineyards in Somerset, KY is believed to be the first winery in Kentucky to be solar-powered. They installed their panels a little more than two years ago.
“We are committed to reducing our impact on the environment, both in our personal lives and with our business,” said Jeff Wiles owner and operator of Cedar Creek Vineyards. “We utilize solar power to heat water, run pumps and for lighting in the winery and tasting room. Our house is also powered by the solar panels.”
The amount of solar panels they have on their vineyard can provide a total of 8,400 watts of power thanks to Solar Energy Solutions of Lexington.
“Farms are a great candidate for solar panels,” said Steve Ricketts, co-owner of Solar Energy Solutions. “These small businesses can save on their monthly utility bills, which allows them to reinvest in their farm. There is a misconception that solar is out of reach for some, but with its price dropping more than 70 percent in the past 5 years, the initial investment pays for itself in less than one-third of the lifespan of the solar panels.”
Being solar-powered isn’t the only green and sustainable way Cedar Creek Vineyards does business. They compost, collect rain water, they are transitioning to an edible landscape and native grasses, and keep bees to produce honey and increase pollination.
Cedar Creek is owned and operated by Jeff Wiles who is a longtime resident of Pulaski County. The vineyard was established in 2002 and opened up for business in 2007. They currently produce 10 wines ranging from dry to sweet along with fruit wines, mead, and cider.
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