A Grand Cru for a Minnesota Winery Microgrid Project

Unique microgrid project to power Minnesota winery

Midwest Energy News, October 23, 2015. Image credit: Winehaven Winery

Located around 35 miles north of St. Paul in Chisago City, the St. Thomas School of Engineering has been working with WineHaven on a unique collaboration to create a microgrid using solar and wind on the its grounds.

St. Thomas received a $2.1 million grant from Xcel Energy’s Renewable Development Fund to build a microgrid research and testing facility to showcase how distributed energy can be used effectively, Weinkauf said.

The plan calls for:

  • Roughly 200 solar panels covering an area the size of a football field, rated at 50 to 60 kilowatts of capacity.
  • A 100 foot high wind turbine with retractable components that allow  it to be raised and lowered depending on wind volume.
  • Two diesel generators.
  • Battery storage space.
  • Room for additional elements, such as fuel cells or other emerging microgrid technologies.
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