Henschke – Exceptional Wines from Sustainable Vineyards

Henschke, one of Australia’s oldest family-owned wineries, has been making wine for over 150 years in the Barossa’s Eden Valley. Established in 1868, Henschke is resolute in its desire for complete integration of vineyard and winery, through six generations of family grape growing and winemaking tradition. 

Henschke is recognised around the world for its exceptional quality wines, innovation and sustainability in the vineyard. The Henschke family’s commitment to sustainability stems from their desire to ensure the created environment sits in a healthy balance with the natural landscape. 

Henschke has always been conscious of its energy use, having previously installed a 47kW solar system, upgrading to energy efficient lighting and making operational adjustments to reduce energy consumption. Although the Eden Valley wine region is well suited to grape growing, the winery’s regional location is at the end of the power line, which results in unreliable and limited access to power from the grid.  

The Henschke Microgrid An Australian Winery First 

In 2017, Henschke engaged Tandem Energy to conduct a comprehensive energy audit to identify opportunities for improvement. From this initial body of work grew an ambitious project – the design and installation of a solar and battery microgrid with diesel backup. Not only was this a first for Henschke, but it was also a first for any winery in Australia.  

The installation of a microgrid provides the backbone of the winery’s electrical infrastructure, thereby enabling opportunities for future sustainable growth, creating energy flexibility and providing energy security by reducing the impact of blackouts and voltage fluctuations. It also increases electricity capacity during vintage, allowing Henschke to produce the exceptional quality wines it is known for and simultaneously reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. 

Fifth-generation winemaker Stephen Henschke and his viticulturist wife Prue are passionate about the environment and reducing carbon emissions. The solar system within the microgrid now generates approximately 35% of Henschke’s energy consumption, which equates to a reduction of 60 tonnes of greenhouse gases or the planting of 300 trees every year. 

The system’s energy output is sized to meet the winery’s electricity demands in both off-grid and on-grid applications. Tandem continues to finetune the system’s operation to ensure maximum on-site consumption of the generated electricity, helping Henschke to work towards its net zero emissions target. 

“It has been very rewarding to work with passionate business owners and technology providers to deliver the first microgrid in an Australian winery.”   

Tomislav Brdanovic - Tandem Energy Director and Energy Specialist

Historic Winery Cutting Edge Energy Solutions 

The Henschke microgrid includes: 

  • ABB-Hitachi PowerStore system; 
  • Additional 50kW solar system to add to the existing 47kW; 
  • 7 power meters and a backup diesel generator.  

While the technology provider, ABB, is very experienced in delivering microgrid solutions in off-grid applications for the mining sector, this was its first time delivering a project like this within a winery or commercial business setting.  

ABB’s PowerStore system integrates a battery energy storage system with a grid, which forms an inverter into a standalone package. Usually a solar/diesel system only allows one energy source to operate at a time, but this technology allows the solar system to keep generating while the battery and diesel generator supply additional power as needed.  

In addition to designing the system and identifying preferred technology providers, Tandem also liaised with SA Power Networks to seek approval for the installation to operate within South Australia’s grid-connected system. Installation of this infrastructure is also expected to help improve electricity grid conditions in the local area, thus reducing upgrade costs within the network.   


In keeping with the Tandem philosophy, we worked closely with a team of key service providers and Henschke to deliver a world-leading installation. This revolutionary project has enabled Henschke to take advantage of current and emerging opportunities and reduce operational emissions and costs without sacrificing productivity. It also demonstrates that South Australian providers have the capacity to deliver projects of this technical difficulty.  

Sustainability is highly valued by both Henschke and Tandem Energy, and this project has enabled a significant amount of emissions to be averted, allowing all parties to play their part in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and fossil fuel reliance. 

Key Service Providers

Tandem Energy: project design and implementation support 

ABB-Hitachi: battery and controller equipment supply and design 

Country Phone and Data: data cabling and connectivity 

Electric Control Solutions:  switchboards and controls 

Generate Energy: solar installer and electrical  

Generator Compliance: SAPN compliance testing 

GenPower Australia/Diesel Generator Services:  diesel generator supply and integration