Traverse City Record, April 6, 2015
TRAVERSE CITY — Chateau Chantal plans this summer to install the largest solar array at any Michigan winery. The 148.5-kilowatt array will offset about 40 percent of the winery’s power use.
Harvest Energy Solutions, of Jackson, will design the array, manufacture the racks to hold the solar panels and perform the installation.
Chateau Chantal was awarded a Michigan Economic Development Corporation Pure Michigan Business Connect grant that provides matching funds up to $50,000. The grant program requires that recipients address technology gaps with innovative resources or solutions from another Michigan-based company. Chateau Chantal also is seeking a boost from a USDA REAP grant, which could provide up to 25% of the project costs.
Harvest Energy Solutions plans to break ground later this month. The array will begin generating power near Memorial Day.
“We’ve been incredibly lucky to steward this amazing property on Old Mission Peninsula,” a Chateau Chantal release said. “Installing a large scale solar array is one more way we can reflect our commitment to a healthy environment.”
Chateau Chantal said its vineyard has been certified by the Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program for eight years. It stopped using chemical fertilizers in its vineyard 10 years ago.
It said the stationary solar array will be positioned so natural views will not be affected. The 65-acre vineyard and winery sits atop a ridge 12 miles north of Traverse City on the Old Mission Peninsula.