Dan Vukelich, editor of New Mexico Golf News, is a member of the Golf Writers Association of America and the Golf Travel Writers of America. Reach him at email@example.com
Visitors to Ladera will see construction in the parking lot for a few more weeks as a $1.16 million photovoltaic parking shade structure is erected.
The project started in early January and is expected to be completed by May 2.
In a year, the system will generate enough electricity, about 713,108 kilowatt hours, to power the golf shop, restaurant, maintenance facility and irrigation well, said Albuquerque Parks and Recreation spokesman Philip Clelland.
The annual electricity savings is expected to total $65,540, Clelland said.
In all, 120 parking spaces, plus eight handicapped parking spaces will be covered by the photovoltaic canopy. The project is funded by Clean Renewal Energy Bonds.
“Under Mayor Keller’s leadership, we’re working to achieve the City’s sustainability goals,” said Dave Simon, director of the Parks and Recreation Department. “Solar power at Ladera Golf Course is part of the ‘green golf’ initiative, which will save energy and taxpayer money.”
There are currently no plans for similar structures at the city’s other golf courses, Clelland said.
Several years ago, Santa Ana Golf Club erected two such structures to power the course and Prairie Star restaurant.
Ladera is making a comeback after years of neglect and poor maintenance practices. New cart paths were installed and turf improvements have been made.
In 2013, Ladera got than $2 million in irrigation improvements, plus another $750,000 for re-seeding and cart path improvements. The effort appeared to finally address the mud bogs, dust bowls and dust-strangled fairways that were once Ladera’s hallmarks.