Solar is a hole-in-one for prestigious New Mexico golf club

From on 10/06/2015 in Category Company, Solar Spotlight with 8 Comments
Sunny Tripower Osceola Energy

Santa Ana Golf Club (SAGC) in Bernalillo, New Mexico, is one of the most celebrated and scenic golf facilities in the American Southwest. Situated on 270 acres, it offers spectacular views of the Sandia Mountains, the Rio Grande and the dormant volcanoes crouched along the West Mesa. It includes a 27-hole championship links-style golf course with five sets of tees on every hole, allowing golfers to play from 5,500 to 7,400 yards. There also is a 22,000-square-foot clubhouse, full-service pro shop, four-star restaurant, casual bar and grille, practice facilities and hospitality quarters.

Because of its dramatic setting, challenging course and world-class facilities, SAGC has earned the attention of notable publications such as Golf Week, Golf Digest and The New York Times, as well as the PGA, which selected it as the venue for its 2009 Professional National Championship.

And now, Santa Ana Golf Club has one more exclusive feature setting it apart from the rest of the golf world: a 250 kW PV system providing nearly all of the facility’s power.

New Mexico’s first solar-powered golf club

To meet SAGC’s financial and sustainability goals, Albuquerque-based engineering, procurement and construction company Osceola Energy designed a solar carport to generate energy for the golf club’s facilities while also providing shade for its parking lot. Energy is harvested by 840 Canadian Solar Max Power CS6X 310W polycrystalline solar panels, which are capable of producing 250 kilowatts (DC) per hour, which are fed into five SMA Sunny Tripower 15000TL-US and six Sunny Tripower 24000TL-US transformerless, three-phase inverters.

“SMA is a quality brand that has been field tested and offers the versatility and reliability we look for in every solar project we install,” said Christopher Fortson, marketing manager for Osceola Energy.

Sunny Tripower Carport Osceola Energy

Sunny Tripower inverters completely blend in, thanks to custom paint and Osceola Energy’s attention to detail.

The SAGC system is expected to generate 566,662 kWh annually and offset 95 percent of the facilities’ power usage. That will save the SAGC over $2 million in electricity costs while reducing carbon emissions by over 800,000 pounds annually.

Focus on design

With such a picturesque backdrop, aesthetics were equally important to SAGC when it came to the carport’s design. Osceola Energy focused on incorporating beautiful, one-of-a-kind architectural elements including custom paint that seamlessly integrates the structure—and inverters–into the surrounding buildings, and LED lighting, among many others. “The beautifully crafted Spanish-style steel corbels and locally sourced, hand-blown glass pieces bring a touch of elegance, illustrating the beauty and functionality that solar can lend to architecture, when done with an eye for design,” said Fortson.


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  • avatar

    Christopher Fortson

    10/06/2015 at 12:00 pm

    Thanks for the shout-out! We are very proud of this project and the attention it is bringing to solar in New Mexico.

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Justin Dyke

      10/06/2015 at 1:44 pm

      Hey Christopher – Keep up the great work out there, New Mexico is a great place and even better for solar!

      Reply »
  • avatar


    11/05/2015 at 9:47 am

    Is the CU 1000-US permitted to be mounted like that? Page 22 of the installation manual specifies a maximum of 75 degrees from vertical (the same as the tripower inverters). It would be nice if SMA made horizontal mounting an approved method.

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Justin Dyke

      11/05/2015 at 11:20 am

      Hi Andy –

      You are correct about the mounting angle. Have you had many instances where mounting the Connection Unit flat would be helpful to the system layout/design? If so, I can inform our team about the request as we’re always interested in feedback for future developments.


      Reply »
      • avatar

        Andy Roberts

        11/05/2015 at 12:03 pm

        Yes, that would be extremely helpful for our designs. It is common for out company to mount the connection unit on roofs that are as low as 3 degrees (we would either stand them upright or tilt to 15 degrees).

        Being able to mount the connection unit flush with the modules would allow for a simpler, better looking install.

  • avatar


    11/05/2015 at 9:55 am

    Nice carport system! Congratulations…

    What happens if the brown-orangy inverters have to be replaced?
    Does SMA actually repair the exact same painted hardware or do you get
    a standard grey replacement inverter?

    Reply »
    • avatar

      Justin Dyke

      11/05/2015 at 10:16 am

      Hi Alex –

      The inverter lids were custom painted by the installer at their customer’s request. You’re correct that should one need to be replaced, it will ship to them in the standards grey lid and need to be pained on site. Luckily these inverters are pretty solid, so we hope that doesn’t happen.


      Reply »
      • avatar

        Christopher Fortson

        12/16/2015 at 8:09 am

        Alex –

        Reliability was one of the factors Osceola Energy Solar considered when going with SMA inverters. Because of the custom elements of our project, we wanted to limit the risk of having to have replacements. However, we kept extra paint on hand should something occur that requires a warranty replacement. Thank you for the interest in our solar carport design!

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