Saturday, August 10, 2013
50 Days of ZERO EMISSIONS
In March of this year we replaced the vast majority of our gasoline powered golf course maintenance equipment with battery powered electric models. Through the Clean Tennessee Energy Grant funded by the Tennessee Valley Authority through the Office of Sustainable Practices of the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation we purchased three Jacobsen Eclipse 322 triplex greensmowers, four Jacobsen Eclipse 322 triplex tee and approach mowers, two Tru-Turf R52 greens rollers, two Smithco Super Star bunker rakes, five Toro Workman MDEs and two Club Car Carry All Turf IIs. These units make up the bulk of our golf course maintenance fleet and on days like today are the only units used on the golf course.
When we began looking into the possibility of converting our gasoline powered equipment to electric many questions and concerns came up. How much fuel usage
can we eliminate? How much CO2 emissions can we eliminate? How much will our electricity bill go up? Can a battery powered mower really cut as well as a gasoline powered mower and can it make it around the golf course without loosing power? All of these questions were very good ones and we did our best to research the correct answer. The biggest question though was would the electric equipment perform as we needed it to and would it truly benefit the golf course and the environment.
After five months of using the electric equipment I can say without hesitation that using electric equipment on a golf course is a very, very viable option to gasoline powered equipment. The equipment has performed well beyond our expectations and to answer a few of the questions above, in the first four months of operation when compared to usage during the same months in 2012 we have eliminated the use of 700.2 gallons of gasoline and eliminated the production of 14,004 point source pounds of CO2. Our fuel savings for this time frame has been $2,332.73 while our electricity costs are only $1,175.31. While we have not been able to eliminate all use of gasoline or CO2 emissions on the golf course this is a great start.
Our Electric Equipment Initiative is just beginning and we hope that others will consider the benefits and the rewards of using alternative energy sources to operate their golf course equipment in the future.
On to the next 50 days!!!