New solar array will save winery nearly $25K per year

Northern Michigan winery goes green with new solar panels.

Chateau Chantal Winery in Grand Traverse County just got more environmentally friendly.

The winery added an array of solar panels right out in the vineyard.

Chateau Chantal and Harvest Energy Solutions officials report that this is the largest solar array at a Michigan winery.

The solar panels will offset approximately 40 percent of the winery and inn's energy needs, which will save the winery about $25,000 a year.

"Certainly there's a monetary benefit that will help our bottom line after the payback period, but more than that we find that we like to be considered stewards of the land,â?? said Marie-Chantal Dalese, CEO of Chateau Chantal. â??We rely on the land to grow the grapes we use to make wine, and we want to take care of it. We want to take care of our environment and this will help reduce the carbon output of about 18 homes."

The solar panels were privately funded by Chateau Chantal and by the Michigan Economic Development Corporation with matching funds up to $50,000.

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