A new feature is visible at Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club and Resort: 234 solar panels, each about six-by-three-feet were installed over 10 days recently along the north side of the irrigation pond on Hole #18.
Greg Brandriet, superintendent at Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club and Resort, described that the photovoltaic system was installed to offset the energy usage of the club’s irrigation system for its back nine holes.
“They currently provide power to the pumps for the irrigation system and the well we use to fill the pond,” he said. “The system will generate a yearly average of 120 MWh (megawatt hour), around 43 percent of our annual usage for the irrigation system. This should cut our electrical bills by over $13,000 per year.”
He added that the system would produce an excess of electricity during January and February, when that energy would be returned to the grid. In the peak usage months of July and August, the system would provide as little as 25 percent.
“In the world of golf, there is a growing movement to become more sustainable and enhance the many benefits golf has for the environment,” Brandriet said. “This system highlights the forefront of this national movement into alternative energy and environmental stewardship and also strengthens our dedication to the local community.”
The rear of the solar panels are visible from Interstate 90, near Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club and Resort’s location near Exit 17.
Black Hills Pioneer Article by Kaija Swisher