Roanoke Valley Wine Company Installs Largest Private
Solar Energy System in Southwestern Virginia
Rob and Beth at the Solar World
production plant in Oregon
Roanoke Valley Wine Company, Virginia’s premier statewide distributor of fine wine and beer, has taken a bold step forward in warehousing sustainability by installing solar panels at its Salem, VA distribution center. This groundbreaking solar project is the largest private solar installation in Southwestern Virginia, and one of the largest in the commonwealth. Astrum Solar, now Direct Solar Energy, installed the 100 kW photovoltaic energy system, which initially included 420 high performance solar panels from Solar World. 18 month later in the fall of 2014, RVWC added another 42 panels for a total of 462 panels.
Roanoke Valley Wine Company incorporated a roof-mounted, 462 panel solar array, which covers over a third of the facility’s roof space. While the system is a basic roof-mounted design, the solar panel layout needed to accommodate 40 skylights used for the facility’s daylighting needs. The new clean energy solar power system is designed to generate enough electrical energy to cover about 85% of Roanoke Valley Wine Company’s annual demand. The distribution center is climate controlled year-round to house wine and beer to be distributed to ABC-licensed restaurant and specialty shop customers throughout Virginia, West Virginia and Washington, DC.
Keeping wine and beer in a climate controlled environment is a priority for Roanoke Valley Wine Company and it is a significant operational expense. Turning to solar power as a resource will help the organization manage these long term expenses.
“Adding solar panels, and taking advantage of this green energy source, makes good sense financially, and, frankly, we believe it’s right thing to do for our environment,” said Beth Crittenden, who co-owns Roanoke Valley Wine Company with her husband, Rob Crittenden.
A January 11, 2013, ribbon cutting and open house event formally kicked off the project, where other community leaders, RVWC customers and suppliers attended.