Rutherford Hill first charge point customer
MCE Solar & Wind Renewable Energy
Opus One 2030 Vision I
Opus One 2030 Vision II
Energy efficiency is a core priority for Napa Green Wineries, both for conservation and cost-savings. Maximizing efficiency is especially important when considering the installation of solar renewable energy. As we say, “We don’t want to solarize inefficiencies.” The more efficient the operation, the smaller the scale and footprint of the solar array, reducing the price tag.
But here in Napa County we are lucky that wineries do not have to install their own solar arrays (although many have) to get 100% renewable energy. A few years back the County opted into the Community Choice Energy, Marin Clean Energy (MCE) program because they guarantee a 60% renewable portfolio (PG&E averages 29%). MCE customers can opt into their “Deep Green” program and receive 100% solar and wind-generated electricity produced right here in California. This reduces the carbon footprint of electricity to zero.
Opus One Goes Deep Green
Opus One became a Napa Green Certified Winery in 2018. As part of continuing improvement, they have been focused on energy efficiency; the Green Team wanted a near-term, practical way to make meaningful change. We shared that the easiest step would be to go “Deep Green.” Facility Manager Susan Mitchell says a lightbulb immediately went off (pun intended).
Susan connected with Chris Kubik, Business Relationship Manager with MCE, and says, “She could not have been more helpful.” It was a no brainer when they discovered that for a small premium of just $0.01/kWh, Opus One could have 100% renewable, regionally-sourced electricity.
Opus One has shared their Deep Green commitment via their company newsletter, during staff meetings, and in a video for the Board of Directors. The Sales & Hospitality teams have also added Deep Green to their sustainability talking points. Susan shares, “Our team really cares about this positive impact, and now we are exploring the next level – installing our own solar array.”
Rutherford Hill Welcomes Electric Vehicles
With roughly 150,000 Electric Vehicles (EV) being sold annually in California, Rutherford Hill Winery wanted to provide their customers with EV chargers. Juan Moreno, Facilities Manager, led the charge. EV charger rebates from MCE helped to make the business case. MCE customers receive $3,000 per authorized EV charger port, or $3,500 per port if the charger is on Deep Green.
While the rebates were seamless, Juan shared their two biggest challenges: permitting and electrical costs to install the conduit. Rutherford Hill began the process of installing EV chargers in 2019 but the permitting process delayed installation for over a year. Thankfully, if you are interested in installing EV chargers you will not face these same hurdles. As of April 2021, all of the cities and County of Napa are now in compliance with AB1236, which requires streamlined permitting for EV installation. All permit applications for EV chargers are now allowed to bypass the Planning department and go straight to the Buildings department for approval.