Constellation Expands California Solar Energy Initiative; Expected to Produce Most Solar Energy in U.S. Wine Industry

GEYSERVILLE, CALIF., September 13, 2010 – Constellation Wines U.S., the country’s leading premium wine company, announced today a major expansion of its solar energy initiative as part of its ongoing commitment to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). The company plans to invest in three new solar energy installations across California at its Clos du Bois winery in Geyserville; Ravenswood winery in Sonoma; and Estancia winery in Monterey County. The projects build on the company’s solar initiative which began in 2009 with the inaugural installation at the Gonzales winery in Gonzales, Calif. Approximately 17,000 solar panels will be installed at the four wineries by the end of 2010, making the initiative the largest solar footprint in the U.S. wine industry.

Solar panel installation at Clos du Bois WineryThe solar power generated is projected to cover most if not all of the wineries’ energy needs. Specifically, the systems will provide the Estancia and Ravenswood wineries with 100 percent of their annual power and 75 percent of the needs of Clos du Bois and 60 percent of Gonzales.

“The four systems will have a combined solar power of 3.95 megawatt DC, which is equivalent to 4.5 million pounds of emitted carbon being removed from the atmosphere. This amount equates to 9 million miles not driven annually or 226 million miles not driven over the next 25 years, a sizeable reduction,” said Greg Fowler, senior vice president of Operations, Constellation Wines U.S.

Sonoma County Board of Supervisor Paul Kelley added, "This solar project for a premium wine operation in Sonoma County is an exciting project showing Constellation's commitment to quality wine, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction."

Constellation has retained California-based Genesis Renewable Energy to design, install, operate, monitor and maintain the three new installations at Clos du Bois, Ravenswood, and Estancia. Genesis will work with locally-based contractors to complete the project, further utilizing community resources and creating local jobs. An integral part of the investment in this multi-million dollar initiative is incentives provided by the federal government and the California Solar Initiative. Constellation will be utilizing an incentive program afforded by the American Recovery Act that allows a 30% tax incentive for starting the solar project this year. In addition to the federal program, Constellation will also participate in a rate incentive program made available by the California Solar Initiative which provides significant rate incentives for solar power through Pacific Gas and Electric.

"These tax incentives, which help spur investments in alternative energy production, are an important way to help green our economy,” said Congressman Mike Thompson (D-Napa) who helped draft the federal incentives and supported the Recovery Act. "Constellation's solar initiative is a great example of how these tax incentives are helping the environment while also creating jobs in California."

The solar initiative is a major focus of the company’s overall CSR program which has been implemented on a global scale and concentrates on three pillars:
• Sustainability - environmental stewardship and sustainable business practices
• Giving - supporting the arts, education and healthcare in Constellation’s communities
• Social Responsibility - a commitment to responsible consumption and marketing practices.

Constellation is participating in a number of efforts under the sustainability pillar which have resulted in significant accomplishments such as the recent certification of all of Constellation’s wineries and vineyards as part of the California Sustainable Winegrowing Alliance’s 3rd party certification program. Additionally, Constellation wineries also participate in local programs such as the Sonoma Green Business program, the Napa Green program and the Fish Friendly Farming program, which certified over 1,300 acres of Constellation’s vineyards.

“We are extremely proud of this solar initiative, especially in California where many of our brands, employees and customers are located.” said Jay Wright, president, Constellation Wines North America. “We are committed to investing in technologies that will allow us to protect our environment while we produce our wines in the most sustainable way possible. Not only will this initiative have a positive impact on the environment, but it is also cost effective, saving approximately $ 1 million in energy costs per year.”

 

Constellation Brands Solar Installation Details and Environmental Benefits by Winery
Clos du Bois Winery - 19410 Geyserville Ave, Geyserville, CA 95441
• 4,164 modules on rooftops, panels and carports
• bvSize Carport DC 241,920, Roof top 882,580
• Approx System Size 1,124,500 Watts DC
• 999,700 Watts AC
• Approximate Clean Energy Production – Year 1,714,985 KW hours per year

Environmental Values:
The Clos du Bois PV solar system will generate approximately 1,715,000 kW of “clean energy” per year towards the property’s annual electrical needs. This one Megawatt solar system will enable the property to accomplish the following Carbon Footprint Reductions enabling Clos du Bois Winery to generate enough clean electricity each day to:
• 237 vehicles off the road annually
• 27,000 trees planted or 248 acres of forest annually
• 164 homes powered annually
• 2.6 million miles not driven annually or nearly 65 million miles over the next 25 years.

Ravenswood Winery - 2665 Arnold Drive, Sonoma, CA 95476
• 2,148 modules
• 107,520 Watts DC Ground Mount and 473,760 Watts DC Roof Mount
• Approx System Size 581.3 KW DC
• 528.5 KW AC

Environmental Values:
Ravenswood’s one megawatt PV solar system will generate approximately 885,000 Kw of “clean energy” per year towards the property’s annual electrical needs equivalent to:
• 112 vehicles off the road annually
• 13,000 trees planted or 128 acres of forest annually
• 77 homes powered annually
• 1.2 million miles not driven annually or nearly 31 million miles over the next 25 years.

Estancia Winery - 980 Bryant Canyon, Soledad, CA 93960
• 4,164 modules
• Approx System Size 1,124,760 watts DC (1.125 MW)
• 999.9 kw Watts AC
• Approximate Clean Energy Production – Year 1,715,328 KW hours per year

Environmental Values:
Estancia’s PV solar system will generate approximately 1,650,000 Kw of “clean energy” per year towards the property’s annual electrical needs equivalent to:
• 237 vehicles off the road annually
• 27,000 trees planted or 248 acres of forest annually
• 164 homes powered annually
• 2.6 million miles not driven annually or nearly 65 million miles over the next 25 years.

Gonzales Winery – 800 South Alta Street, Gonzales, CA 93926
• Approx System Size 1 MW
• Covers 170,000 square feet of the main winery warehouse roof
• Clean Energy Production - 1,700,000 kilowatt hours of electricity per year

Environmental Values:
The Gonzales PV solar system will generate approximately 1,650,000 Kw of “clean energy” per year towards the property’s annual electrical needs equivalent to:
• 237 vehicles off the road annually
• 27,000 trees planted or 248 acres of forest annually
• 164 homes powered annually
• 2.6 million miles not driven annually or nearly 65 million miles not driven over the next 25 years.

About Constellation Wines U.S.
Constellation Wines U.S. is the U.S. division of Constellation Brands, the world’s leading wine company that achieves success through an unmatched knowledge of wine consumers, storied brands that suit varied lives and tastes, and talented employees worldwide. With a broad portfolio of widely admired premium products across the wine, beer and spirits categories, Constellation’s brand portfolio includes Robert Mondavi, Hardys, Clos du Bois, Blackstone, Arbor Mist, Estancia, Ravenswood, Jackson-Triggs, Kim Crawford, Corona Extra, Black Velvet Canadian Whisky and SVEDKA Vodka. Constellation Brands (NYSE: STZ and STZ.B; ASX: CBR) is an S&P 500 Index and Fortune 1000® company with more than 100 brands in our portfolio, sales in about 150 countries and operations at more than 40 facilities. The company believes that industry leadership involves a commitment to our brands, to the trade, to the land, to investors and to different people around the world who turn to our products when celebrating big moments or enjoying quiet ones. We express this commitment through our vision: to elevate life with every glass raised. To learn more about Constellation, visit the company’s web site at www.cbrands.com.

 

Contact: Media Relations: Nora Feeley- 415-810-8817 or Angie Blackwell- 585-678-7141