U.S. Senator Stabenow Flips Switch at Chateau Chantal

MyNorth News Service

(Press Release provided by Harvest Energy Solutions and Chateau Chantal)

JACKSON and TRAVERSE CITY: U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow flipped the switch to symbolically activate the largest solar agribusiness installation at a winery in Michigan.

Perched high on a ridge overlooking Grand Traverse Bay, Chateau Chantal Winery & Inn will soon offset approximately 40% of their energy needs with a new 148.5 kW solar array by Harvest Energy Solutions. The array’s annual production of 172,351 kW is equivalent to saving CO2 emissions from the electricity use of 18.2 homes for one year.

“We’ve been harvesting grapes on this farm for 29 years and are now excited to diversify by harvesting the sun’s energy with the largest solar array at a Michigan winery,” said Marie-Chantal Dalese, President and CEO at Chateau Chantal.

More than 50 invited guests from the Michigan Department of Agriculture & Rural Development, Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program, Michigan Economic Development Corporation, Michigan Farm Energy Program, Michigan State University, agribusiness representatives, the Traverse City Chamber of Commerce and Traverse City Tourism presidents, and media, joined the Senator to celebrate the completion and “power up” of the new solar installation.

The array was designed, engineered and installed by Harvest Energy Solutions, a Midwest renewable energy company that specializes in agribusiness and rural residential solar installations. Chateau Chantal’s solar PV system is made almost entirely with parts and equipment made in Michigan, from the Harvest Energy Solutions’ manufactured racking and clips, to the Michigan-made solar panels.

“At Chateau Chantal, we’ve been incredibly lucky to steward this amazing property on Old Mission Peninsula. Installing a large scale solar array is one more way we can reflect our commitment to a healthy environment. Our vineyard has been MAEAP (Michigan Agriculture Environmental Assurance Program) certified for 8 years and we ceased application of chemical fertilizers in our vineyard 10 years ago,” stated Marie-Chantal Dalese. “We’ve been very conscientious of our natural beauty and understand that it is a major reason people vacation in our area. The stationary solar array has been positioned so that these stunning natural views are not affected.”

Chateau Chantal was been awarded a MEDC Pure Michigan Business Connect grant which provides matching funds up to $50,000 to companies in need of addressing technology gaps with innovative resources or solutions from another Michigan-based company. Further financing may come from a USDA REAP grant that could cover up to 25% of the project costs.

Harvest Energy Solutions leverages more than 100 years of collective commercial equipment installation experience with a renewed focus on solar photovoltaic (PV) and other renewable system designs and installations.

“Harvest Energy Solutions is passionate about improving the lives of hard working Americans dedicating their lives to agribusiness, like Chateau Chantal, and sustaining their business from generation to generation,” stated Harvest Energy Solutions’ President, Chris Curry. “We believe that there is a tremendous amount of untapped value in renewable energy and believe in partnering with our agribusiness customers to promote lower energy costs and energy independence so they can focus on what’s important: Feeding Americans.”

Wineries and fruit growers from across the country are quickly realizing the benefits of using solar energy to supply the vast power needs that it takes to run their agribusiness. It’s a perfect fit: they need the sun to grow their product and with solar PV, they have the sun to help absorb the energy costs of running their business.

Michigan alone, has more than 120 wineries and 2,300 fruit growers. Chateau Chantal is a great example of a forward thinking company that is committed to environmental stewardship by partnering with Harvest Energy Solutions to capitalize on renewable energy resources.

“Michigan IS a leader in renewable energy,” stated U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow. “Make, grow and innovate – that’s what we do best in Michigan.”

Harvest Energy Solutions is a full-service distributor and installer of renewable and energy saving products, specializing in rural, agricultural and commercial energy solutions throughout the Midwest. Since 2006, Harvest Energy’s goal has been to assist farmers and ranchers, businesses and home owners, in becoming more sustainable, efficient and independent with renewable energy. Our products include solar, wind, HVLS fans, agricultural lighting, log cabins and storm shelters. For more info visit www.HarvestEnergySolutions.com or call 1-877-788-0220.

Chateau Chantal is a unique development that combines a winery, vineyards, bed and breakfast, residence, six private home sites, and winding roads, all of which combine to create a memorable experience in Northern Hospitality. The 65-acre site sits high atop a ridge 12 miles north of Traverse City, Michigan, on the beautiful and historic Old Mission Peninsula. Chateau Chantal crafts many styles of wine, allowing the grape to dictate the style. The location’s unparalleled views and outstanding staff play host to B&B activities, cooking classes, wine education opportunities, Sensory Tours, conferences and meetings, small weddings, and friendly regional wine events.  For more information visit www.chateauchantal.com or call 231-223-4110.

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