Burrowing Owl Estate Winery is already known for its commitment to creating premium Okanagan wines in an environmentally sustainable manner. Its new investment in solar panels and renewable energy infrastructure, however, is sure to cement its reputation as a leader in the field.
Burrowing Owl proprietor Jim Wyse has always approached the winery with a visionary’s eagerness to do things differently – and better. In 2006, for example, the winery installed renewable solar energy panels to provide the hot water needed for barrel washing and other cellar functions. The initiative worked so well that during hot summers the panels capture more energy than is needed, and excess hot water is “dumped” into the Guest House pool, to guests’ delight.
Now the winery is expanding on this success. In 2016 Burrowing Owl will install 3 clusters of solar electric panels on its property. The panels on the roof of its Oliver warehouse alone will produce all the energy needed in the facility, thus reaching “zero carbon footprint” status – the first facility in the region that is able to make this claim. The winery will also install 4 electric car charging stations for staff and visitor use. By the end of 2016 the total contribution of solar energy at Burrowing Owl from all sources will be the equivalent of 220,000 kWh/year, which will offset carbon emissions by 115 tons/year. Those are big numbers, but perhaps the winery’s biggest contribution will come from providing an example other wineries and businesses can follow to reduce their own ecological footprint.
Read more about Environmental Policy at Burrowing Owl Estate Winery here.
*Press Release from Burrowing Owl Winery