Green Spirit Awards: Windy Category

This blog entry was written by Allie Brown, former Clean Energy Advocacy Manager at SACE.

Guest Blog | July 21, 2016 | Energy Policy, Wind

This is the sixth post in our Green Spirit Awards monthly blog series, highlighting breweries, wineries and distilleries in the Southeast using clean energy to create tasty, sustainable beverages. You can read the other blogs in this series by clicking here. Cheers! 

Wind-powered libations are greatly changing the meaning of the phrase “Drink Responsibly.” Businesses are recognizing the importance of producing products with a low carbon footprint. By installing wind turbines, companies are lowering energy consumption and lowering their power bills. Below are a few wineries, breweries, and distilleries that are taking advantage of wind power:

Credit: Outer Banks Brewing Station

Outer Banks Brewing Station:

Kill Devil Hills, NC –  In North Carolina, the Outer Banks Brewing Station in Kill Devil Hills was the first wind-powered brewery in the United States, providing a unique attraction for the town. Built in 2008, this wind turbine saves the brewing station $150-$250 per month on their electric bill and will offset approximately 1.2 tons of air pollutants and 250 tons of greenhouse gases over its operating life. Additionally, the restaurant hopes to provide educational benefits for the customers and the community. Inside the restaurant, customers can view information on the turbine and the amount of energy it generates. On top of the turbine there is a weather station that contains research equipment that sends data to multiple North Carolina universities.

August Cellars: Newberg, Oregon:

August Cellars is a winery in Oregon that installed a wind turbine that generates 60 percent of their electricity needs. The turbine is located on Chehalem Mountain and generates approximately 60,000-64,000 kilowatt hours over a year.

Busch Fairfield Brewery: Northern California:

In August 2014, Anheuser-Busch installed their second wind turbine at the Fairfield Brewery in California. The Brewery now generates 30 percent of their electricity needs from wind energy–which also includes solar arrays. The brewery has reduced its water use by 47 percent since 2007. Watch the video below to check out the turbine installation:

McCall Wines Vineyard: Cutchogue, New York:

Wind turbine at McCall Wines Vineyard

McCall Wines installed a wind turbine on their vineyard in New York in 2010. The 10 kilowatt wind turbine, while small, saves the winery $2,312 in electricity costs each year! This wind project is a part of the Long Island Power Authority’s Backyard Wind Initiative–an energy program launched in 2009 that provides incentives to help local businesses reduce their energy consumption. McCall Wines has a strong commitment to conservation and the addition of the wind turbine further strengthens their efforts.

Bacardi Distillery: Catano, Puerto Rico:

Let’s head over to Puerto Rico for some wind-powered rum! In 2010, Bacardi Corporation installed two wind turbines to help power the distillery. 250,000 tourists visit the distillery each year to check out the two 250 kilowatt turbines, which offset more than 900 tons of CO2 per year.

Pindar Vinyards: Southhold, New York:

Pindar Vineyards in New York installed the biggest wind turbine (156 feet) in town in 2011. The wind turbine provides approximately 90 percent of the winery’s electricity use, which results in tremendous savings in energy bills each year. The Vineyard even offers educational tours of their sustainable agriculture and renewable energy on site.

Anaba Wines: Sonoma, California:

It’s only right that Anaba Wines, “named for the anabatic winds that soar through it’s vineyards” installed a wind turbine on site. In 2009, Anaba Wines became the first winery in Northern California to install a wind turbine. The labels on the wind bottles even feature the structure! You can check out one of their “turbine red blends” here.

Anaba Wines’ Skystream 3.7 wind turbine in the background. Credit: Anaba Wines

With eco-tourism on the rise, wind turbines have provided these wineries, breweries, and distilleries a unique attraction that may offer additional economic benefits. If you find yourself near these businesses, we encourage you to support them. Cheers!

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