The City of Denver earlier this year cut down hundreds of trees at City Park Golf Course as part of a storm drainage project that will overhaul the whole course. But on the bright side, the new course will be at least partially powered by solar energy.
A request for proposal by the city calls for solar panels on the roof of the new maintenance building, which will power that structure and the course's new clubhouse. The panels would ideally result in a 54 percent reduction in energy costs, says Nancy Kuhn, a spokeswoman for Denver Public Works. The city hopes to have the panels installed by May next year.
"The new, modern clubhouse will have a west-facing back patio with expansive views and enough space to accommodate golf and community events concurrently. The design includes floor-to-ceiling glass windows, materials that blend with the natural landscape and is designed to achieve LEED Gold certification," the city says on a website for the project.
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The panels would tie into a Denver executive order from 2013 that requires new city buildings and major renovations to meet LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, Gold Certification.
"In this case, solar turned out to be a good opportunity to meet those requirements," Kuhn explains.
The golf course is undergoing a major renovation that hasn't been without controversy. The city says the work will allow the course to temporarily hold and slow floodwaters, and the project is supposed to help protect some neighborhoods from flooding. The course is slated to reopen next year.
Before the course closed, activists tried to save more than 200 trees that were to be destroyed as part of the project. The city says the project will result in a net gain of 500 trees.