Hong Kong golf course goes green with first solar carts fleet

Wed Oct 7, 2009 11:52pm EDT
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By Stefanie McIntyre

HONG KONG (Reuters Life!) - A golf course in Hong Kong, where air pollution is a huge concern, is displaying its green credentials with the world's first entire fleet of solar-powered golf carts.

Solar-cell roof panels have been fitted to the 205 carts at The Jockey Club Kau Sai Chau Public Golf Course in a collaboration between a Hong Kong university and Denmark-based engineering company SolarDrive.

The solar-powered golf carts are able to capture and convert daylight into sufficient energy to power them year round, even on cloudy days. The carts charge themselves as they go.

The golf club estimates that the switch to solar power will reduce carbon emissions by up to 30 tonnes per year as a result of the reduced power consumption requirements of the fleet and save the club more than $50,000 annually.

General manager Cameron Halliday said the club estimated it would save 50-70 percent on power consumption of the fleet and extend the battery life of the vehicles from 2 years to 4 years.

"The early indications are that we hit these targets," Halliday told Reuters Television.

"We anticipate that every year we'll save HK$400,000 (US$51,610) on the operation of the 205 car fleet."

Golfer Charles Regan said it was a great idea.   Continued...