Ms. Pilar Alegría (Aragon’s Minister of Innovation, Research and University) Mr. Joaquín Olona (Aragon’s Minister of Rural Development and Sustainability) and Mr. Mauricio González-Gordon (President of González Byass) have recently presented the advances produced by program Rewind during an official ceremony at wineries Viñas del Vero. As part of the European Union’s LIFE program, Rewind promotes the development of cost-effective renewable energy systems in rural areas and in the agri-food and wine industries. This initiative has been supported by the University of Zaragoza and the Higher Council of Scientific Research (CSIC) through the joint research center Liftec and company Intergia Energía Sostenible.
Viñas del Vero has installed three 44kw –installed power– photovoltaic fields for the promotion of Rewind. One of the fields is placed on the ground, another one on a pole together with a tracker and the last one –which stands out for its innovation– on the water slide of the treatment pond of the wineries. The energy produced –up to 75,000 kw/year– moves the mechanisms necessary to operate the wastewater treatment plant in isolated mode (disconnected from the grid), as well as the irrigation systems of nearby vineyards. In this way, the winery, which had already completed its water cycle with the installation of a water purifier and the reuse of water for the irrigation of vineyards, culminates its second cycle, the energy cycle.
This progress allows Viñas del Vero to move towards a third cycle: mobility and transportation. The most innovative element of this initiative is the sustainable generation of hydrogen (gas) through the so-called water hydrolysis technique, which is operated by the surplus generated by renewable energy. The hydrogen obtained allows to propel an agricultural prototype, the germ of a future hydrogen tractor, through the small hydrogen station implemented for the project, one of the few in its category in Spain. Aragon is a pioneer in applied hydrogen technology for agricultural purposes, with an important economic cluster established around the applications in this field.
In this initiative, part of González Byass’s “5 + 5 Caring for the Planet” sustainable program, Viñas del Vero combines respect for the environment and innovation. Since its creation, the winery has circumscribed its main goal in the development of a sustainable wine industry based on a fair balance between the social, environmental and economic elements. Thus, to offer wines made with the least possible impact on the environment, Viñas del Vero preserves the biodiversity of its environment, has obtained the relevant certificates for organic production, recovers and maintains the varieties native to Somontano and applies measures to reduce water consumption and polluting emissions into the atmosphere, in order not to contribute to the greenhouse effect.
About the Rewind project
Rewind is an acronym: it is developed in profitable small-scale systems of renewable energies in the agri-food industry and in rural areas. Its objective is to demonstrate that the use of renewable energies is technically, environmentally and economically profitable in the agricultural sector and in the rural industry. This European project within the LIFE program –the financial instrument of the European Union for these purposes– has two main lines of action: conservation of the environment and action for climate.
Rewind, a Spanish initiative in the field of climate action, is endowed with a budget of €1,562,994, of which the EU finances €672,265. The duration of the project is 3 years, from July 2014 to July 2017.