Royal Birkdale installs solar panels and EV charging points

Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 17, 2023 10:43

The host venue for 10 Open Championships, Royal Birkdale in Merseyside, has installed 318 photovoltaic panels on the roofs of its clubhouse and greenkeeping hangars.

The energy generated is set to be used to power six electric vehicle charging points at the venue, as well as provide energy to clubhouse and greenkeeping operations.

The panels are anticipated to provide one third of all energy used at Royal Birkdale Golf Club.

Speaking to Syngenta Golf, Michael Sawicki, managing secretary at Royal Birkdale, said: “As a host venue for the Open, Royal Birkdale is committed to supporting The R&A’s quest for greater sustainability in golf. The club takes its responsibility for the environment extremely seriously and a recent survey of the membership also confirmed that sustainability is high on their priority list.”

The solar panels will help the club become more self-sufficient at a time of rising energy costs.

Royal Birkdale’s clubhouse. Image from Twitter

It’s the latest in a series of sustainability-focused initiatives by the GEO certified venue. In 2018, Royal Birkdale installed a new irrigation system focused only on intensively managed areas, leading to a 35 percent reduction in water usage.

The club also endorses the use of biodegradable tees made from upcycled coffee grounds that break down and leave no residue on the golf course.

Sawicki says Royal Birkdale, which last hosted the Open in 2017, is working towards a ‘favourable’ reassessment of its SSSI (Site of Special Scientific Interest) rating, following an in-depth report into the ecology of the golf course.

Undesirable species have been removed and work done to reinstate fixed duneland and restore favorable habitats for wildlife, flora and fauna with the support of Natural England. Sand from Birkdale’s dunes is quarried for top dressing and plans are underway to expand the club’s turf nursery to promote self-sufficiency.

Sawicki said the club also intends to switch to timer-led LED lighting and a compression system for food waste. Club officials are also assessing the option to store excess electricity in batteries and resell it to the UK’s National Grid.


Alistair Dunsmuir
By Alistair Dunsmuir February 17, 2023 10:43
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  1. ESG investment February 18, 13:15

    Lowering emissions … everybody can get involved – thank you Alistair Dunsmuir for highlighting the Royal Birkdale Golf Club commitment to sustainability in Golf.

    Reply to this comment
  2. Peter February 17, 14:40

    Sustainability makes sense and cents !

    Reply to this comment
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