A collaborative effort

D.C. Taylor reroofs four California wineries

Foster's Wine Estates Americas Co., headquartered in Napa, Calif., is an operating company of Foster's Group Ltd., based in Melbourne, Victoria, Australia. Foster's Wine Estates Americas produces premium-quality wines, including Beringer, Lindemans, Penfolds, Rosemount Estate and Wolf Blass, and sells about 20 million cases of wine per year.

Foster's Wine Estates Americas has nine wineries throughout California, four in Napa. In June 2007, The Bright Group Inc., Napa, a company that represents California-based commercial roofing and waterproofing product manufacturers, was asked to evaluate Foster's Wine Estates Americas' roofing program. As part of its evaluation, The Bright Group proposed and negotiated the installation of solar roof systems at three wineries in Napa, including Beringer, Stags' Leap and Etude Wineries, as well as Asti Winery in Cloverdale, Calif.

The wineries would host the solar roof systems for 25 years and purchase electricity at a reduced rate from Perpetual Energy Systems LLC, Woodland Hills, Calif., the project financier. Perpetual Energy Systems would own the solar systems, renewable energy certificates and carbon credits determined by the systems' output and would use conventional financing, construction, and permanent debt and equity, as well as federal energy tax credits, to fund the entire installation without capital investment from Foster's Wine Estates Americas.

Assembling a team