April 26, 2016 9:02 pm

Grapes and electricity produced from sun’s rays at Okanagan winery


KELOWNA – A new solar footprint means a Kelowna winery is reducing its carbon footprint.

On Tuesday, 42 solar panels were installed on the roof of a new workshop at the St. Hubertus Estate Winery.

It’s anticipated they’ll produce enough electricity to power up the workshop and the proprietor’s residence.

“I hope so,” says Leo Gebert. “I mean you can do lots of calculations, but how it actually turns out in a practical way, that’s what we will see.”

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The installer says any electricity generated excess to the need goes into the FortisBC power grid.

“During the day, we should have his meter spin backwards, creating a credit he can draw down from at night,” says Rob Monteith of Okanagan Solar.

The solar system costs about $30,000.

“Our calculation is it takes about 13 years to recoup it, which of course from an accounting side, is totally ridiculous,” says Gebert.

So for him, it’s more about going green than saving green.

“For the environment and for us, for future generations basically.”

If it works out as hoped, Gebert says he’ll put more solar panels on more roof tops.

“Basically quadruple the size. We have a huge roof area here, we’ll just pack them with solar.”

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