PGA Of America Launches Driving Sustainability initiative

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Golfers and their fans have new inspiration to go solar, go EV, and to go for energy efficiency at home and in the club house.

Constellation, a retail energy supplier, and the PGA of America kicked off their Driving Sustainability campaign at the 2019 PGA Championship last week at Bethpage State Park in Farmingdale, NY. 

Spectators at the event were encouraged to drop colored golf tees into bins labeled with simple ways to conserve energy and improve the environment, symbolizing their pledge toward a sustainable future. The gesture highlighted energy conservation options for golf facilities including: solar, building automation; water conservation; electric vehicle charging stations; portable generators and electric golf carts.

“As our organization takes proactive steps to reduce its energy consumption and positively impact the environment, we’re excited to embolden the golf community to do the same,” said Jeff Price, Chief Commercial Officer, PGA of America. 

Constellation will help minimize the carbon footprint of the PGA Championship by matching the electricity used during the tournament with Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) representing energy generated from clean, renewable resources.

Constellation, the PGA of America’s Official Energy Provider and Sustainability Partner since 2016, has helped the organization develop and implement sustainability strategies — working to reduce energy consumption and cut costs at golf facilities nationwide through its Efficiency Made Easy (EME) program.

EME enables customers to implement energy conservation measures with no upfront capital and fund the costs of those improvements through their electricity supply agreement. Constellation also serves as the electricity and gas provider for more than 50 PGA of America member facilities nationwide.

“This collaboration has allowed us to work with PGA professionals across the country to implement tailored energy management options unique to each golf course,” said Mark Huston, President of Constellation’s National Retail Business. “We’re pleased our clean energy solutions have delivered tangible results for the PGA of America and look forward to continuing to partner with the organization to help them meet their sustainability goals.”

On average, LED lighting upgrades at PGA of America facilities have reduced lighting energy use by 35-50% and costs by 10-16%. HVAC improvements have cut cooling use by 10-25%, the organization said.

Constellation conducts energy-efficiency analyses at golf courses to reduce the environmental impact of the game. As part of its partnership with the PGA of America, the company seeks to minimize the environmental impact of signature events including the PGA Championship, KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship, KPMG Women’s PGA Championship and the Ryder Cup by providing Green-e Energy Certified Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) to match the electricity used during each event, the company said in a statement. 

“These RECs certify that 100% of the energy used during PGA of America events will be matched with wind generation to reduce carbon dioxide emissions.” The mix of clean energy solutions, such as wind and solar resources, help the PGA of America meet its sustainability goals, the company added.

Constellation also works with local golf courses and PGA professionals to improve their environmental and financial stability. The company’s sustainability strategies to reduce their environmental impact and operational expenses includes work in areas such as: lighting, building automation, water conservation, and electric vehicle charging stations.

For a golf club in New Jersey, Constellation’s award-winning Efficiency Made Easy program funded the installation of an LED lighting system that reduced consumption by 50% resulting in estimated annual energy savings of over $135,000 along with additional annual savings on maintenance due to new equipment that has longer life cycles and newer warranties.

Constellation has helped a variety of national organizations go Green. In November, the company signed a long-term agreement with Starbucks to power more than 340 company-operated Illinois stores with 100 percent renewable energy produced by Enel Green Power (EGP) North America at its HillTopper wind project in Logan County, Ill. 

“It’s exciting to see Starbucks continue its commitment to play a role in the growth of renewable energy markets,” said Rebecca Zimmer, director of global environmental impact for Starbucks, at the time. “We are identifying and investing in new green power projects that are close to our retail communities and give our store partners a story they can be proud of.”

The agreements will enable Starbucks to support the generation of approximately 48,000 megawatt-hours of wind power from EGP’s HillTopper wind project, enough to brew nearly 100 million cups of coffee, or more than seven cups of coffee for every Illinois resident. It will deliver an annual environmental benefit equivalent to removing nearly 8,000 passenger vehicles from the road.

Constellation, an Exelon company, describes itself as “a leading competitive energy company providing power, natural gas, renewable energy, and energy management products and services for homes and businesses across the continental United States. We provide integrated energy solutions — from electricity and natural gas procurement and renewable energy supply to energy efficiency and distributed energy solutions — that help customers strategically buy, manage and use their energy. Today, approximately 2 million residential, public sector and business customers, including two-thirds of Fortune 100 companies rely on our commitment to innovation, dependability, transparency and service.”

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Charles W. Thurston

Charles specializes in renewable energy, from finance to technological processes. Among key areas of focus are bifacial panels and solar tracking. He has been active in the industry for over 25 years, living and working in locations ranging from Brazil to Papua New Guinea.

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