Industry News

Scheid Family Wines Erects Huge Wind Turbine

Scheid Family Wines is erecting a huge wind turbine four miles south of the town of Greenfield in Monterey County, California. The windmill, which is scheduled to go operation at the end of August, 2017, stands tall above the local countryside with blades that reach 396 feet into the sky. It will generate 100 percent of the power needed to run the winery and bottling operations.


Photo courtesy of Scheid Family Wines

“We have always been committed to sustainability,” says Scott Scheid, President and CEO. “All 4,000 acres of our estate vineyards in Monterey County are officially certified by the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance. One hundred percent of our wastewater is recycled, and all our grape must is composted and spread as nutrition in the vineyards. We use 100 percent drip irrigation and low-impact farming methods. We even have 250+ owl boxes to control rodent populations naturally. Installing this wind turbine is yet another facet of our desire to preserve the environment.”

The turbine is located a quarter mile west of Highway 101 and four miles south of Greenfield. While the turbine is large and imposing, it meets all of the local zoning laws.  The centerline of the hub of the turbine is 264 feet above ground level (AGL); the three propellers are each 132 feet long and the top arch of the prop blades is 396 feet AGL.

The turbine, which can be seen for miles, is big enough to supply all of the winery’s electricity needs plus power 125 homes with renewable power—the perfect power source for the inexhaustible winds of the Salinas Valley. For the local conditions, turbines are more effective than solar, since they generate electricity at night, don’t lose efficiency due to dust and don’t  use valuable agricultural land or create the maintenance issues rooftop installations create.


Photo courtesy of Scheid Family Wines

The props will turn at approximately 22 RPM, and the turbine will generate 185 megawatts annually. The winery uses about 900,000 watts at peak (0.9MW) and this unit generates double this load. The turbine has five internal computers: one in each blade to monitor and control pitch, one in the nacelle and one main computer in the tower base that communicates with the others. It also has its own server at Foundation WindPower and is monitored continuously by GE.

Sustainability at Scheid Family Wines

Scheid Family Wines now has full sustainability, which is significant for one of the larger wineries in the county All of their vineyards and winery operations are sustainably certified with the following bodies:
       HACCP Certification (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points)
       Global G.A.P. Certification (Good Agricultural Practice)
       BRC Certification (British Retail Consortium)
       CCSW Certified Vineyards

The winery produces, treats and irrigates 100 percent of its water and composts 100 percent of the grape pomace, stems and seeds. As of August 2017, the winery will be 100 percent wind-powered.

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