Hunter Valley wine producer invests in energy-saving project


Hunter Valley’s Drayton’s Family Wines is taking huge steps toward energy savings by investing in energy-efficient installations, including a new 200 kilowatt solar power system.

Image: Free Digital Photos user Naypong
Image: Free Digital Photos user Naypong

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Industry Bob Baldwin visited Drayton’s winery in Pokolbin earlier this week to switch on the solar power system, one of the largest in the region.

“I congratulate Drayton’s Family Wines for investing in this large solar field array, and other energy saving measures,” Mr Baldwin said in a media release.

“As well as helping the company’s bottom line, this investment is socially responsible as it is helping Australia reduce its carbon emissions. Drayton’s Family Winery expects the measures will reduce its emissions intensity by an impressive 68.5 per cent.”

The project received a funding of $222,582 from the government’s Clean Technology Food and Foundries Investment Program and costs $445,164 in total.

Aside from the solar power system, the company also invested in a new energy efficient lighting and an upgraded refrigeration system. The measures are expected to contribute around $83,000 in energy cost savings for Drayton’s Family Wines.

General Manager John Drayton said he hopes the project will encourage other wine producers in the region to invest in energy saving measures.

“The 800 solar panels we have installed have become a talking point in the region. Hopefully other wine producers will follow our example and realise that investments like this are good for business, as well as the environment. After a four-year payback period, we will be making substantial savings,” Mr Drayton said.

“We also hope to be able to increase production, which will help us meet our strategic goals, including increasing sales internationally, especially to China.”