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Arizona winery first to produce 'green' wine

PHOENIX -- Many wineries in Arizona specialize in red or white wines, but only one winery has "green" wine.

Page Springs Winery in Cornville, Ariz. will be the first winery in the state to go green after it installs several hundred solar panels this month, according to Susana Meister, the winery's wine club and marketing director.

"We are going to be installing 375 solar panels in our parking lot," Meister said.

Those 375 panels will cover about half of the lot and produce 85 percent of the winery's power, according to Meister.

"It's a huge step toward us reducing our carbon footprint," she said. "Construction is going to begin in early August and it's going to take about three weeks."

Reducing the effects of carbon emissions is vital for future of industries such as wine growing, Meister said.

"Any agricultural company especially would receive more benefits and be prime to make this change," she said.

Arizona is second only to California is the number of solar industry jobs and Meister said it makes sense to use solar power in a state with about 300 days of sunshine each year.

"Arizona's solar capacity is nearly seven times that national average," Meister said. "When you consider that 70 percent of all electricity is produced by burning fossil fuels and that results in one-third of all greenhouse gas emissions, why wouldn't you go solar in Arizona?"

Beside reducing the company's carbon footprint, Meister said they expect the panels will reduce its electricity bill as well, saving the company approximately $1,100 per month.

Meister said eventually they hope to add more panels and produce 100 percent of their power from solar energy.

About the Author

A southern California native, Mark Remillard began working in radio in 2010 while in community college as a host of late night and weekend programming for publicly supported 88.5 FM KSBR. While working through college, Mark also interned for the Bill Handel Radio Program at Los Angeles' KFI AM640, where he began his work in journalism. Mark moved to Arizona in August 2012 to finish his bachelor's degree at Arizona State University's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication and graduated in August 2014. Mark began working as a reporter for KTAR in November 2012.


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