“I never thought we could get solar to work for us, surrounded by towering redwood trees. Solar Works took the time to explain to me that they could study our rooftop and make it work. Now we are eight years into a twelve-year payback period, and half of the power we use to charge our golf carts comes from the sun.”
— Gaylord Schaap, General Manager
Northwood is one of the most recognizable and beautiful 9-hole golf courses in the world, set
among coastal redwoods in the Russian River Recreation Area of northern California. For years,
Northwood has used electric golf carts to benefit air quality and minimize sound. Although the
golf carts don’t use fossil fuels, charging them resulted in very high electricity bills. A grid-tied solar
installation was the perfect way to offset expensive electricity usage in a clean and cost effective way.
Solar Works installed a 6.7 kW grid-tied system in the summer of 2011. A SolarEdge optimizer
system was used to mitigate the effects of the tall redwood trees near the clubhouse. A solar
optimizer under each solar module ensures that when one module is shaded, there is no negative
effect on the others. The result is a high functioning, cost effective solar design and installation.
Northwood’s solar electric system produces 7,300 kWh annually, saving an average of $1,800 every
year. The system keeps operating costs low and helps decrease overall CO2 output. It’s a win-win
benefit for both economic and environmental reasons.
Organizations • Pepperwood Preserve hosts college and university research projects on its 3200 acres and is one of many California nature preserves focusing on climate adaptation. Partnering with the USGS, its weather station analyzes long-term environmental and climate changes.