SEIA’s Solar Champion Award Goes to Finger Lakes Wine Region


There is something about a vineyard on a sunny day. Lately, many vintners have been taking the love of the sun one step further, employing it for solar power. 

One region in particular has been embracing solar, with many of its vineyards installing systems. Last week, SEIA honored the Finger Lakes Wine Region with its Solar Champion Award, in recognition of these efforts.

SEIA President and CEO Rhone Resch said, “By taking advantage of solar’s cascading costs and proven reliability, these smart New York wineries are taking a giant step toward self-reliance, while saving money and reducing pollution along the way– the embodiment of true solar champions.”

The Solar Champion Award recognizes the efforts of those who strengthen the use of solar power in the United States.  In this case multiple Finger Lakes wineries including Hunt Country Vineyards, Wagner Vineyards, Dr. Konstantin Frank Vinifera Wine Cellers, O-Neh-Da and Eagle Crest Vineyards, have turned to solar power. This has reduced not only the carbon footprint of these operations, but also their costs. Combined, the vineyards will save hundreds of thousands of dollars on their energy bills.

“Farming and wine making require a commitment to the land that spans generations. We see solar as a smart investment in a sector that requires constant innovation,” said Suzanne Hunt of Hunt Green LLC. “By installing large solar power systems on our farms and wineries, we are driving environmental benefits for America, while helping to ensure the long-term economic viability of the agricultural sector which sustains us all.”

The region’s large-scale solar installations will avoid approximately 460 metric tons of harmful carbon emissions a year.  The benefits don’t stop there. In addition to being a smart environmental and financial choice for the vineyards, the solar projects support the Finger Lakes economy as well. The vineyards employed local construction firms and electrical contractors for the solar installations. A further benefit is to the U.S. economy, as the PV panels were made in the U.S.A.

Photo Credit: Tthaas/Seneca Lake Vineyards