Casella Family Brands has just switched on the largest solar facility in Australia’s drinks industry

April 9, 2024
By Cody Profaca

Casella Family Brands, Australia’s largest family-owned drinks business, has today launched two new solar facilities in its hometown of Yenda, NSW. 

The first of these facilities will provide energy to Casella Family Brands’ primary winemaking site. According to SunWiz analytics, its generation capacity of 11.53 GWh of clean electricity per year makes it the largest operating solar farm in the Australian beverage industry and one of the largest solar farms directly connected to a privately owned company. This solar farm will be supported by a second facility that will power Casella Family Brands’ wastewater treatment plant. 

Together, the two facilities reflect the company’s commitment to achieving net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

“I’m extremely proud to unveil our investment in clean electricity through our two new solar systems,” said John Casella, Founder and Managing Director of Casella Family Brands.

“As well as reducing our footprint, we are making a direct contribution to the Australian wine industry’s GHG emissions reduction goals via the products we make and supply, as we all strive to ensure a sustainable global wine sector.”

The Yenda facility, which produces Casella Family Brands-owned wines such as Yellow Tail, Peter Lehmann and Morris of Rutherglen, consists of 8740 panels and has the capacity to offset 7800 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually, the equivalent of 1900 Australian homes or the planting of 325,000 trees. In total, the solar farm will supplement about 35% of electricity used at the Yenda winemaking site.

It also represents a major milestone in Casella Family Brands’ journey towards reaching its commitment of becoming net-zero by 2050. Included in this roadmap is a preliminary goal of reducing emissions by 50% by 2030. 

“Our Net-Zero targets directly support global climate goals, as well as those of the Australian wine industry, our global customers and distributor partners,” said Casella.

“This is also a positive step for our consumers as we know they increasingly care how the products and brands they purchase are made.

“As a family-owned business, we’re committed to playing a role in ensuring the resilience of the Australian wine industry for generations to come.”

Both of the new solar facilities were developed and constructed by Next Generation Electrical, Australia’s leading engineering, procurement, and construction company. The solar panel investment has already been commended by various industry bodies, who are hopeful other wine producers will follow suit.

“We know that sustainability is an increasingly high priority for consumers, and Casella’s strong actions to reduce their emissions are an extremely positive step towards the sector’s emissions reduction goals,” said Martin Cole, CEO at Wine Australia.

“This is an important investment for Casella and the Riverina region and supports the broader sector’s work to safeguard the future of Australian wine.”

For more information, visit the Casella Family Brands website.

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