When Tesla Motors Inc. came knocking, one cellar door flew open.
Jackson Family Wines of Santa Rosa, Calif., was one of the first businesses to put Tesla’s TSLA, +1.81% commercial energy-storage batteries to use, a move the wine company’s chief operating office Hugh Reimers called a “very easy decision.”
The story of how two of California’s favorite industries — wine and technology — came together began in 2012.
Jackson, which makes the Kendall-Jackson wines and owns wineries in California and Oregon as well as Australia, Chile, France and other countries, had worked with an energy-management company that introduced the idea of using the Tesla batteries as part of a pilot program. The batteries would be installed free of charge, and the winery agreed to keep it all confidential until Tesla was ready to announce the new product.
“We got together with Tesla and the thing we loved about Tesla was that we had a lot of the same goals in terms of energy management,” Reimers said. The winery had already installed solar-power systems to supply some of its power needs, which vary throughout the year and are mostly tied to refrigeration.
Tesla late last month unveiled Tesla Energy, its stationary batteries for home, commercial, and utility-scale use.
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