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.
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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