Customer: Robinvale Wines
Location: Robinvale, Rural City of Swan Hill, Victoria
Applications: Solar PV to reduce use of grid-power
Solar panels: 135 x Seraphim 440 watt panels
Inverter Technology: 1 x Fronius SYMO 20 kW inverter, 2 x Fronius SYMO 15 kW inverter
System payback: 2.3 years
Robinvale Wines makes the switch to sun power
Robinvale Wines, an award-winning certified bio-dynamic organic producer of wines and juices, were looking for a solar power system that would reduce their carbon footprint and electricity bills.
The business assigns a percentage of its annual profits to investments in equipment and processes that benefit the environment. Therefore investing in solar fitted with the business’s mission and would contribute to a reduction in overheads.
In addition, Robinvale Wines were interested in applying for the On-Farm Energy Efficiency Grant from Agriculture Victoria to reduce the cost of investing in solar.
Steve Caracatsanoudis, one of the owners of Robinvale Wines, came across Specialized Solar through the Mallee Sun Solar Bulk-Buy, a program supported by Swan Hill Rural City Council and run by the Central Victorian Greenhouse Alliance.
Mr Caracatsanoudis said that finding the right solar partner had taken Robinvale Wines some time. “We’d been looking for the right solar provider for around seven years but never found a solar company that ticked all the boxes. We didn’t want just any solar installer to come in and put up lots of panels and never see them again. What we were looking was a trusted partner with strong focus on customer service, who employed local people to deliver the work.”
Mr Caracatsanoudis said coming across the Mallee Sun Solar Bulk-Buy was a turning point. “The credentials of their solar provider – Specialized Solar – looked good particularly the fact that they’d been selected through competitive tendering, that it was a Council-supported program and they used a local installer,” he said.
“Going for the grant was definitely worthwhile. Without it, the payback would have been around 4.2 years,” said Mr Caracatsanoudis. “Anthony Igmen from Specialized Solar helped a lot with the grant process. He was pivotal to getting our grant application over the line.”
Robinvale Wines use of mains grid electricity will be cut five-fold and annual electricity bills for running their cool rooms and factory is reduced by 80%.
Due to a successful application for the On-Farm Energy Grant from Agriculture Victoria, the system payback is projected to be 2.3 years.
“The level of customer support from Specialized Solar has been tremendous”, said Steve Caracatsanoudis. “Anthony Igmen has visited us several times and is in regular contact. I am confident that with Specialized Solar we are in good hands and that the system is set to deliver the financial and environmental benefits we want to achieve.”