The Mini Hydroelectric Power plant located at Viña Tarapacá will generate 250 kilowatts of electric power to supply operations at the winery. The project builds upon Viña San Pedro’s recently-opened Biogas Plant in Molina.
The project was inaugurated this Tuesday 13th September with the Energy Minister, Mr. Máximo Pacheco, along with regional authorities and CORFO employees. It was set up by VSPT Wine Group in collaboration with the company Errázuriz & Asociados.
“We want Chile to have more places where energy is generated closer to where it is consumed. Moreover, in the case of grape growing, 10% of costs are electricity. We have to continue implementing energy projects with renewable aspects for a better, cleaner planet”, stated Máximo Pacheco, the Energy Minister.
The business structure between VSPT Wine Group and Errázuriz and Associates, has supply contracts with agreed prices. However, energy generated by the Mini Power Plant that is not used by the winery, will be fed into the National Grid (Sistema Interconectado Central, SIC), therefore providing the country with clean energy.
The small plant will generate energy using a flow of water from irrigation canals which belong to Viña Tarapacá. This will be directed towards a supply canal which harnesses the gradient, and then to the turbine which produces the electric energy. Afterwards, the water returns to its natural course, in the same quality and quantity as before the diversion, allowing its cycle to continue.
The winery’s conditions guaranteed for zero environmental impact and low labor costs, due to existent water rights and an irrigation cannel. On top of this, the estate’s special conditions allowed for easy installation of this type of plant.
The project anticipates that approximately 60% of the winery’s electric consumption at Viña Tarapacá, during normal operations, will originate from clean, renewable energy, equivalent to the average monthly energy consumption of 750 homes.
This important project will build on VSPT Wine Group’s aspiration to operate in an increasingly sustainable and environmentally-friendly way.