Californian winery, Kendall-Jackson, have produced a first with its installation of a rooftop solar cogeneration system.

A 96-module, 241-kilowatt hybrid solar photovoltaic (PV) and thermal array, expected to save the winery around $30,000 annually, will also produce hot water, reports Businesswire.

It is a key step in producing wine with a smaller carbon footprint, as wineries require a lot of hot H20 to clean stainless steel tanks and oak barrels. K-J and the company behind the project, Congenra Solar, said this is the nation’s largest rooftop solar cogeneration system.

Cogenra’s system works by capturing the heat normally lost by PV panels in liquid-chemical filled tubes to produce hot water. According to Cogenra, its proprietary technology makes use of up to 80 per cent of the sun’s delivered energy, five times the amount of notoriously inefficient traditional PV systems.

On the Kendall-Jackson installation, Cogenra partnered with a local installer, SunWater Solar, to construct the array on the roof of  the label’s Kittyhawk winery.

This solar cogeneration system will provide up to 60 per cent of the building’s hot water needs, as well as the electricity necessary to power the building’s lighting and cooling systems.

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