Wind and Wine

August Cellars, located in Newberg, recently installed a 50-kilowatt wind turbine that will generate approximately 65 percent of the electrical needs of the winery.

The installation is a partnership between August Cellars, Western Community Energy — a Portland-based developer of community-scale renewable energy projects for private and public entities — and the Energy Trust of Oregon. August Cellars and WCE, taking advantage of the renewable energy tax credits offered by Oregon, purchased and installed the Entegrity EW50 Wind Turbine.

The turbine is located on Chehalem Mountain, where the average wind speed is 13.4 to 14.5 mph. It should generate 60 to 64 kilowatts over the course of the year, or about two-thirds of the winery’s annual energy consumption.

This is a unique partnership where August Cellars leases the turbine and WCE takes advantage of the energy tax credits. August Cellars then has an opportunity to purchase the tower at the end of the lease and will continue to operate the turbine, reducing not only their carbon footprint but their annual electrical bill as well. August Cellars expects to recover the costs involved in 10 to 15 years, depending upon electricity rates.

“I think the wind turbine is an example of how August Cellars and the greater Oregon wine industry are not tied to only one way of being green,” said co-owner/facility manager Tom Shaad. “The industry looks for creative solutions that fit into both our physical locations and budgets. We embrace multiple solutions for sustainablilty.”

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