Halving power use at the vineyard

NSW Minister for the Environment Robyn Parker joined winemaker Mark Davidson at the Tamburlaine Winery in the Hunter Valley to launch a new Energy Saver technology report and take a first-hand look at how the vineyard has managed to slash its power use by half.

Minister Parker said that while energy efficiency and refrigeration are probably the last thing on most people’s minds when they’re enjoying a nice glass of wine at the end of a long week – they’re not for the winemaker.

“The reality for wineries and hundreds of other businesses in the NSW food and beverage industry is that escalating power costs and the threat of the carbon tax are having significant implications on industrial refrigeration energy costs,” Ms Parker said.

“Refrigeration is the biggest energy use for most food and beverage industry businesses – from abattoirs to bakeries, cold stores, dairy processors and food, beverage and pet food manufacturers.

“Industrial refrigeration costs can be reduced by a staggering 40% or more and this new report demonstrates, using concrete data from the experience of companies like Tamburlaine, what technologies are available, how much they will cost and how much will be saved,” she said.

“At the end of the day, if NSW businesses save power and therefore money, that’s going to have long-term benefits for the business, consumers and the broader NSW economy.”

Tamburlaine is one 14,500 businesses that have now taken part in NSW Government energy efficiency programs to save a total of $56 million a year in resource efficiencies.

The new Energy Saver Technology report on Industrial refrigeration and chilled glycol and water applications, prepared by the NSW Office of Environment and Heritage (OEH) and released by the Minister, details 15 technologies available to help the broader industry save power and costs.

Tamburlaine’s managing director Mark Davidson said an energy audit conducted through Sustainability Advantage Energy Saver last year showed refrigeration accounted for 75% of the winery’s energy use and identified total efficiency savings of $114,000 a year.

The upgrades to refrigeration that Tamburlaine has since undertaken will alone save $54,000 a year and pay for themselves in less than 12 months.

“I thought I must have misheard my environment manager when he told me how much money we could save,” Mr Davidson said.

“The energy audit identified the problem and helped us break some old and wasteful energy habits.

 “By doing some really simple things such as running time and thermostat controls, upgrading heat exchangers and making pipe work modifications, we have reduced our overall electricity use by 48 per cent and our refrigeration energy use by 54 per cent.”

“This is resulting in significant benefits to the business. Not only in cost savings, but also because it aligns the way we operate with our business philosophy of minimising our impact on the environment.”

Ms Parker said the Energy Saver Technology Report: Industrial refrigeration and chilled glycol and water applications, detailed 15 energy saving technologies to increase the energy efficiency of industrial refrigeration plants.

For each technology the annual energy consumption, capital costs and payback periods have been estimated using modelling based on typical examples.


Image courtesy of www.flickr.com/photos/nswnationalparks/

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