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China Fleet Country Club invests over £100,000 into green energy

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One of the South West’s leading country clubs, China Fleet in Saltash, has invested more than £100,000 installing state-of-the-art solar energy technology.

This has helped the Club to not only reduce its energy costs but, more importantly, helped it to become Carbon Neutral within 10 years. 

Dean Bennett, Managing Director, said: “We are delighted to see our new Solar PV system now in place. It’s something we’ve been planning for a number of years and it’s very exciting to see it now installed.”

The impressive 165kWp array of solar panels has been installed on the large roof of the main building by another Cornish company, ZLC Energy Ltd. It will save 95,000kg of carbon per year and will provide 16% of the Club’s energy requirements.

After consulting with ZLC Energy, the Solar PV system became a clear option for the Club in tackling their high demands of energy use. The system provides a high level of savings in both terms of financial, but carbon savings too.

Dean continued: “As a company we are aiming for Net Zero Carbon use by 2030. The installation of the solar array will help us achieve this, and has the added benefit of substantially reducing our energy costs, especially at a time when energy costs have risen so dramatically.

“One critical element of the installation was that we had to ensure there was an absolute minimum disruption for our visitors and members. It was completed so discreetly, in fact, you wouldn’t even know it was taking place, which allowed us to remain fully open throughout the duration of the installation.”

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Matthew Shepherd, Managing Director at ZLC, added: “This was a fairly complicated installation due to the challenges posed by the Club’s slate roof, but our team managed to complete the project on time, to budget, and safely.

“We were on site for six weeks, but were able to work discreetly with minimal disruption to the Club and its members. We’re looking forward to working with China Fleet on their plans for further sustainable projects.”

Dean added: “We have installed many environmentally friendly systems here at the Club. Internally, we have installed low energy light bulbs, reduced our plastic and operate a zero-to-landfill waste.

“Externally, we have installed electric car charging points, encourage people to cycle here and use our new bike shelter and work with the Cornwall Wildlife Trust. We’ve recently planted two wildflower areas and 100 new trees as part of the Queen’s Platinum Canopy and we even have our very own water supply and water treatment works, Nature Trail and 2 bird hides overlooking the Tamar Estuary Nature Reserve.”

China Fleet has also been awarded the Green Tourism and TripAdvisor Gold Green Leaders Award accolades for their continued efforts.

The China Fleet Country Club was established more than 30 years ago to provide rest and recreation facilities for Royal Navy and Royal Marine personnel and their families.  It has since evolved into a contemporary family-friendly facility that is also open to members of the local community and is a popular venue for tourists, weddings and conferences.  It comprises a championship golf course, a leisure complex, health and beauty suite, apartments, café and restaurant, and over recent years, several environmental projects have been at the forefront of its growth.

Dean explained: “We will continue to invest heavily in our energy infrastructure and the environment is at the heart of everything we do here. We have recently formed a Green Team to encourage employees to be actively involved in future plans and come up with ideas they care passionately about.”

“The Solar PV project took around three weeks to install but will last a minimum of 25 years. Installing the system was a no-brainer. ZLC Energy provided us with detailed information on Solar PV, as well as how it will help us to achieve our targets to reduce the cost of energy.

“We’re delighted to be able to monitor the new system and see it already performing very well.  It’s even heating our swimming pools!”

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