Next fall, Hidden Bench Vineyards and Wintery proprietor Harald Thiel will be harvesting more than just grapes at his Beamsville, ON vineyards and winery. As part of Hidden Bench's commitment to minimize the environmental impact of its operations, Thiel has undertaken several initiatives including the use of sustainable agricultural methods, recycling winemaking byproducts, and using geo-thermal energy for heating and cooling. With his new 23-kW grid-tied solar power system from Victoria-based Carmanah Technologies, Thiel will be harvesting solar power right along with the Chardonnay and Riesling grapes grown in Hidden Bench's three vineyards.
About Carmanah's Grid-Tie Solar Power Systems
When connected to the electrical grid, a grid-tie solar power system installed on a building can supply a portion of the power needed to run the site. Using solar energy reduces dependency on the electric utility, reduces greenhouse gases and lowers monthly power bills. During the day, electricity generated by the solar power system is fed into the facility, offsetting the amount of power being drawn from the grid. Any excess power can be fed back to the electric utility for a power credit. This concept is known as net metering. In Ontario, the Renewable Energy Standard Offer Program (RESOP) allows owners of grid-tie solar power systems to sell all of their renewable energy to the Ontario Power Authority over a 20-year term.