Spearfish’s Elkhorn Ridge Golf Club and Resort recently installed 234 new solar panels, reports the Black Hills Pioneer. The six-by-three-foot panels are meant to offset energy used by the club’s irrigation system on its back nine holes.
Superintendent Greg Brandriet said that the solar panels currently provide the power for the irrigation system’s pumps that fill the irrigation pond on the north end of the course. The system should generate an annual average of 120 megawatt hours, which is about 43 percent of the irrigation system’s yearly power usage. This offset would reduce Elkhorn Ridge’s electrical bills by over $13,000 annually and would even provide an excess of power in January and February, which would be returned to the power grid.
According to Brandriet, there is a growing movement toward sustainability in the golf community, and the installation of these solar panels illustrates the beginning of a national movement into alternative energy sources. The panels are visible from Interstate 90, near the golf club and resort’s location near Exit 17.
Find more information about energy in the Black Hills in the Black Hills Knowledge Network news archive.