2022 05 news sustainThe Portarlington Golf Club has embarked on an ambitious pathway towards environmental sustainability.

In line with the club’s long-term strategic plan, president John Bowman said a bold $100,000 investment in solar energy would have great immediate positive impacts.

“The club has entered into an agreement with Aus1 Energis to supply a 99.36 kW on-grid solar power system. This system will produce an average of approximately 370 kWh per day over the year,” Bowman said.

“We basically want to become more socially responsible and have a positive impact on the environment’s health.

“Over the expected 20-year life cycle of this system, it will be the equivalent of us planting more than 13,000 trees, which can only be good for all of us.”

There is a second aspect to the club’s strategy of developing long-term and sustainable environmental projects.

The club has significantly reduced its reliance on potable water for irrigating turf and will continue to do so through the development of a stormwater harvesting system.

“This, in essence, diverts stormwater to our dams on the course to be used for irrigation,” Bowman said.

“To continue the reduction in potable water use, ‘Class C’ recycled water is also used for irrigation.

“Water savings have also been achieved through the introduction of Santa-Ana couch turf on the fairways and tees. This has allowed the club to provide better quality playing conditions whilst reducing the volume of water required to produce such surfaces.

“We have also been active in the promotion of native vegetation around the course. We have enhanced this with the selective removal of large, old and dangerous pine trees and planting out these areas with indigenous native flora to increase the bird life associated with the golf course.”

Some of the bird species that have increased in number in the past couple of years have been the Rainbow Lorikeet, Little Lorikeet, Yellow Tailed Black Cockatoos and Tawny Frogmouth Owls.

“The types of machinery that we use certainly plays a part in how we sustainably operate, and is part of our overall environmental improvement strategy,” Bowman said.

“We currently use an electric green roller and are about to receive delivery of our first electric green mower. In time, as the club switches to solar power, we will see a shift from the exclusive use of fossil fuels to – at least in part - being able to operate under solar energy.

“Through this technology, we will further lessen our impact on the environment by reducing noise.

“Our aim is to develop more sustainable actions across our business and foster better environmental stewardship, ultimately leaving the property in better condition for future generations to enjoy.”