SunPower Develops Cost Effective Solutions for the Wine Industry

The original concept and design provided by SunPower dovetailed perfectly with our already established environmentally-friendly building, and contributed further to our philosophic approach and vision to the environment. The installation of the PV system was efficient and very well organised to ensure minimum impact on our daily operations. Local suppliers and contractors were used for installation purposes, therefore fully complying with our philosophy in support and procurement of the local industry – Proudly South African!”

– Talita Louw, Glenelly Wine Estate

The South African wine industry has successfully developed a world-class reputation for producing high quality products. However, the cost of energy, water resources and many industry challenges still remain, and solutions must be found to ensure a competitive and lucrative future for the industry.
Glenelly, located on the slopes of the Simonsberg in Stellenbosch, partnered with SunPower to design, supply and install a solar photovoltaic (PV) electric generating system for the rooftop of the wine cellar. Glenelly was the first local rooftop installation from SunPower in South Africa and the system took a mere two weeks to install. SunPower made use of local service providers for this project.

Glenelly's Green Strategy

Glenelly initiated a “green strategy” in 2006. Some of the energy saving initiatives include, but is not limited to, a mechanical cooling system which chills the structure of the building down through 15 kilometres of pipe, creating such a thermal load that it requires a lot of energy to change the temperature, but very little energy to maintain the temperature. Hence a potential saving of 70% on power consumption as compared to the use of aircons can be achieved. About half the building is below ground which also aids energy efficiency. 

Project Overview

Location:    Stellenbosch, South Africa
System Size:    70 kWp
Covered Area:    2.450 m2
Number of Panels:    299
System Commissioning:    July 2013


By implementing a cost effective solar solution, an agriculturist can decrease the operating costs associated with electricity supply. Money saved from the decreased electricity costs can be reinvested back into the business. By generating solar electricity, an agriculturist can:

• Offset its peak demand electricity rates and flatten its electricity load profile
• Reduce its reliance on expensive grid electricity
• Reduce carbon emissions
• Protect itself against future electricity price rises