Wilyabrup’s The Grove Distillery, Café and Brewery is now fully solar powered, making it a self-declared ‘green and gold’ business.
Owners Val and Steve Hughes’ decision to go ‘off the grid’ makes them the first solar powered distillery in the country.
Ms Hughes said the business took advantage of a federal government rebate and expected to recoup the money spent by the savings made from using solar power.
However, she said the decision wasn't just about financial savings and was spurred by their environmentally-friendly ethos.
“A commitment to the environment and sustainability for The Grove Distillery and Brewery began in 1995 when over 6000 trees were planted to reduce the carbon footprint of production,” she said.
“Using natural and Australian made ingredients when available, The Grove has won gold for their organic gin and gold for their certified organic absinthe.
“Looking to the sun for energy sustainability was a natural decision for The Grove – we have become a ‘green and gold’ distillery.”
The process to convert to solar began in mid-2017.
Continuum Solar calculated the power use of the business to determine how many solar panels and batteries would be required to operate The Grove.
The company then installed 220 solar panels, which connect to a shed housing four and a half tonne of batteries.
Vasse MP Libby Mettam praised the couple and described them as ‘trend setters in their industry’.
“The Grove has illustrated an important lesson for many small businesses not only with the ability to adapt and diversify for the local market, but also in their commitment to the environmental outcomes which will ultimately reap benefits for their business,” she said.
“Having started as a winery in 1995, and later transformed into an award-winning distillery and brewery as well, the Grove is providing valuable colour to the fabric of the internationally recognised food and beverage region.
“The installation of solar panels and the initiative to be the only distillery in the country that is solely reliant on solar is another great leap forward for Val and Steve in the value proposition of their business.”