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As part of its ongoing sustainability and land stewardship efforts, Giumarra Vineyards Corp. has contracted for the installation of a photovoltaic solar and co-generation facility adjacent to its main packing facility in Bakersfield, CA. Giumarra has partnered with California-based HelioPower, an industry leading solar engineering company for the project. The firm has completed large- scale projects worldwide and its North American clients, include Safeway and The Scripps Institute of Oceanography. HelioPower is also a member of the North American Board of Certified Energy Practitioners and the U.S. Green Building Council.

The Giumarra solar system will offset the majority of the company's annual electricity needs for its processing facility, and will offset more than 12,000 tons of CO-2 emissions over the next 20 years.

"The nature of our business requires a tremendous amount of refrigerated transportation for distributing fresh produce around the world, so anything we can do to help improve our carbon footprint while operating a more efficient business is not only good for us, but good for our customers and the community, as well," John Giumarra III, a fourth-generation member of the Guimarra family, said in a Sept. 23 press release.

The solar installation is the first step of a larger energy savings initiative at Giumarra Vineyards that will incorporate energy-efficient technologies including solar electricity, solar thermal and lighting efficiencies to further reduce electricity consumption.

Additional land at Giumarra Vineyards has been allocated for these future solar expansion plans.

“When we analyzed the complexities of this type of hybrid system over a year ago we came to the conclusion that energy reduction, as well as energy production, were the best means toward our longer term energy goals,” Mr. Giumarra added in the press release. “The cheapest energy you can buy is the energy you don’t use, so we are looking at this project as the first phase of a multi-step process.”