Vinyard 29

Located in picturesque St Helena, Vineyard 29 has pioneered trigeneration utilizing Capstone Microturbines, as a viable and economical solution to winemaking since 2003.

Table-setRSPOwner Chuck McMinn installed two Capstone C60 Microturbines in an effort to achieve an economic and environmental efficiency to his winemaking production and operation.  These two turbines produce a maximum of 120 kW of power for Vineyard 29’s, wine production, heating and cooling of its manufacturing facilities and caves.  Continuous power is critical for this type of operation since power loads are cyclical, and seasonal ‘crush’ outages can be costly and unpredictable for operations.

Low-pressure natural gas is used within the Vineyard 29 system for the two C60’s. This Trigeneration facility works with triple efficiency by capturing waste heat and utilizing it for processing of grapes, heating the facility, and cooling the facility through a 20-ton adsorption chiller.

Fluctuating power loads as well as the frequency of seasonal outages were another incentive to installing the microturbines.

Many wineries located in remote locations have to deal with the insecurity of power outages, as many as four to eight times a year. Capstone’s dual mode microturbines ensure backup power to the Vineyard 29 facility in the event of an outage.  This power security is a valuable incentive that recovers loss of profit and production otherwise impacting the vineyard during its most critical operations.


Vineyard 29 has seen a CCHP energy efficiency of 64% with utility and 83% internal, creating a compelling conservation benefit to this application.  Reduction of green house gas as well as environmental stewardship were a part of the decision to transition operation to a CCHP facility. Many facilities will see a 30 – 40% savings in operational costs, making Capstone Microtubines a viable option for a state that ranks second in the world in wine production.

At A Glance:

This premium vineyard in California’s Napa Valley produces a magnificent Cabernet Sauvignon. A portion of the energy used to do so is provided by Vineyard 29’s pair of Capstone Microturbines.

Power is generated in parallel with the vineyard’s utility power connection. But when the grid blacks out, as it does a bit too frequently in this region, the vineyard has relied on the sub-10-sec. transfer capability of its dual-mode Capstone array to ensure power during the critical “crush” period.

The system also provides process and building heating in the cooler months and air conditioning via an absorption chiller.