Many golf course managers and superintendents must balance tight budgets and environmental concerns with their desire to maintain attractive, playable courses. While water issues continue to be very important, many courses are also faced with rising energy costs. A long-trusted provider of efficient irrigation products, Rain Bird is now offering golf courses yet another environmentally-conscious solution: the WT-M 50 kW wind turbine.
“Most golf course superintendents and managers are already familiar with Rain Bird’s water efficient irrigation systems,” says Mason Sorenson, Rain Bird’s wind turbine senior sales manager. “And we know that courses using significant amounts of power to operate irrigation pumps and other electrical fixtures and appliances need a way to reduce their energy costs. By offering irrigation products and wind turbines, Rain Bird will be able to help these golf courses save both water and energy.”
Specifically designed for golf-course environments, Rain Bird’s WT-M 50 kW wind turbines have been available in Europe since March 2012. These turbines help courses decrease both their energy costs and their dependence on local utilities. Aesthetically pleasing and unobtrusive, the smallest turbine is similar in size to a mature oak tree, standing approximately 100 feet tall with blades that spin in a 63-foot diameter. Thanks to one of the best warranties in the industry, any defective components and labor are covered for five years.
“Some might ask why a golf course would want to install a wind turbine,” says Iain MacPherson, renewable energy product manager in Europe for Rain Bird UK Ltd. “I think it’s more appropriate to ask why a course with the right topography and climate wouldn’t want to install one. They offer courses a relatively easy way to produce their own clean, renewable energysomething that’s only going to become more important in the years ahead. While the turbines are small enough to blend in with their surroundings, they also serve as valuable visual evidence of a course’s commitment to environmental sustainability.”
Because Rain Bird understands the importance of providing and maintaining a tranquil golf course environment, the WT-M 50 kW wind turbine produces minimal noise. “Our turbines are constructed from high-quality components for minimal distraction,” MacPherson says. “In fact, when standing about 55 feet from a turbine, the decibel level is similar to that of a quiet library or a normal conversation.” Rain Bird’s WT-M 50 kW wind turbine can potentially generate up to 250,000 kW hours per year. Electricity can be transferred to the power grid without inverters, reducing equipment and maintenance costs.
“Because they generate power year-round, a course can recoup its investment in a turbine by selling any unused energy to its local energy provider,” says Sorenson. “As a result, not only do our turbines reduce a golf course’s energy expenses, they can also help generate income. This creates a valuable revenue source, especially for those courses unable to depend on greens fees during cold winters.” Rain Bird’s new WT-M 50 kW wind turbine is yet another example of the company’s dedication to providing golf courses with complete solutionsfrom reservoir to rotor.