Fountaingrove Athletic Club Warms to Solar
Fountaingrove Athletic Club announced today that it has completed installation a new solar heating system for The Athletic Club’s 135,000-gallon, 4,500 square-foot pool. It is the largest solar heated pool in Santa Rosa.
The new solar heating system maintains an average water temperature of 80 degrees, which will save the athletic club thousands of dollars annually and eliminate hundreds of tons of harmful greenhouse gas emissions. The Solar Water Heating System consists of 75 high efficency FAFCO Revolution solar panels. The 3,600 square-feet of solar heat exchangers are mounted on hillside, ground-mounted racks and connected to the existing pool filtration system. An automatic temperature control system ensures that the natural gas-powered heater is in use only when needed to keep the pool temperature at 80 degrees.
“It’s working well,” says Athletic Club Director, Darren Howey. “In fact, our pool has been operating at a constant 80 degrees Fahrenheit since the new system went operational in mid-August. We have used the gas water heater on an extremely limited basis.” The new system, installed by SolarCraft of Novato, enables Fountaingrove Athletic Club to eliminate the use of over 2 million cubic feet of natural gas per year and reduce emissions of 124 tons of greenhouse gases. Over the estimated 20-year life of the system the emissions reduced by the use of solar heating amounts to taking 385 vehicles off of the road. Greg Hoover, General Manager of Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club, says the environmental benefits are important to Fountaingrove’s mission to support and promote a healthy community. “Capital improvement projects like the solar pool heating system have to pencil out,” says Hoover. “We will be monitoring the system and comparing our gas energy usage in the coming year to analyze total savings. We anticipate the cost reductions will be significant.” The costs of installing other types of solar energy systems are often subsidized through government rebates or tax credits. “Those subsidies are not available or necessary for solar pool heating systems,” says Bill Stewart, Co-Founder of SolarCraft. “Actually, solar pool heating offers significant savings without rebates and credits.” Stewart calculated the new solar water heating system would save Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club approximately $25,000 per year in gas heating costs. “At today’s rates, it is estimated the system should pay for itself in about 3 years.” Solar energy will provide 90 to 100% of heating May through September. Natural gas will supplement pool heating during winter months.
Cost savings may be greater than first thought when Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club made the decision to implement solar heating. Stewart projected Fountaingrove’s estimated cost savings prior to PG&E’s announcement (September 2005) that North Bay natural gas costs will increase by 40% in 2006. “We selected SolarCraft for this project because they have a proven track record of installing cost-saving, energy efficient solar electric and water heating systems,” says Mark Egide, co-founder of Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club. “We provide only the best for our guests and visitors. Choosing SolarCraft for this project has worked well for Fountaingrove.”
About Fountaingrove Athletic Club
Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club is just a few minutes drive from downtown Santa Rosa, California. The Athletic Club is a picturesque oasis that opened in 2004 with top-of-the-line equipment, a full recreational experience and good health individuals and families. The Club features fitness programs, tennis, swimming, personal trainers and other amenities that you would expect from Fountaingrove. For more information please visit www.fountaingrovegolf.com.
Contacts: Fountaingrove Golf & Athletic Club: Greg Hoover, General Manager (707) 521-3228
SolarCraft: Bill Stewart, Co-Owner (415) 382-7717 firstname.lastname@example.org
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