Pernod Ricard Winemakers has committed to sourcing 100% renewable electricity in Australia by mid-2019.
The announcement comes as Pernod Ricard Winemakers celebrates the official “switch-on” of 1MW of solar-generated electricity at its Barossa Valley Winery, marking the first completed stage of the company’s massive 2.8MW solar installation project.
When completed in mid-2019, this will be the largest combined winery solar installation in Australia and will supply 20% of the business’ annual electricity usage.
Working with AGL Energy, the solar installation is expected to generate around 4,000 MWh of renewable electricity in the first year, which is equivalent to the electricity consumed annually in approximately 800 South Australian homes.
To reach 100% renewable electricity, Pernod Ricard Winemakers has signed a landmark 10year Virtual Generation Agreement (VGA) with wholesale electricity retailer Flow Power, to connect the business with renewable electricity sources. The business will be the first in South Australia that is connected to both offsite wind and solar farms.
This means the remaining 80% of the business’ annual electricity requirement will be met by solar and wind for the next 10 years though Flow Power.
The commitment to its own solar project combined with the VGA will allow Pernod Ricard Winemakers Australia to achieve its ambition to source 100% renewable electricity well ahead of its original plans.
Helen Strachan, Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Legal and Corporate Affairs Director, said the agreement demonstrates Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ commitment to sustainability and responsibility.
“We are doing everything within our means to draw upon renewable energy, both in terms of our own renewable electricity sources at our winery and our commitment to supporting the renewable energy industry,” she noted.
“We are excited to be leaders in defining the future of sustainable business in a rapidly changing environment.”
Brendan Weinert, AGL’s Manager Business Solutions, said: “AGL is excited to partner with Pernod Ricard Winemakers in delivering a sustainable energy solution to its iconic Australian brand, based in the Barossa Valley.”
David Evans, Flow Power’s Director Commercial and Engineering, added: “Flow Power is excited that Pernod Ricard Winemakers will be the first South Australian business to come on board our Hybrid Power Purchase Agreement. By matching both solar and wind Power Purchase Agreements, Pernod Ricard Winemakers receives a cost-effective means to get to 100% renewables.”
Pernod Ricard Winemakers’ Sustainability & Responsibility initiatives were recognised globally as among the best in the industry at the recent The Drinks Business Green Awards held in London.
The business has also been recognised as a leader on home soil after winning the Corporate Social Responsibility Award at the 2018 Australian Drinks Awards, as well as the South Australia Wine Industry Association Large Business Environmental Excellence Award .