August 22, 2011
Whidbey Island Life Examiner - Carolyn Tamler
Photo credit: Rick Urban
Island Athletic Club, the largest athletic club facility on South Whidbey, has completed the installation of an array of solar panels on its roof.
Club owners, Steve Shapiro and Debora Valis, believe it’s important to do as much as possible to be environmentally friendly.
Here is how the energy is being created and utilized:
There were many choices for the Club’s solar panel project, and a local business, Whidbey Sun and Wind of Coupeville, was selected. The solar panels were manufactured in Washington State.
Debora and Steve say Club members have talked with them a lot about the panels: “The conversations have been centered on the idea that we are all in this beautiful place and we need to problem-solve on protecting our island in every way possible. It’s a pretty simple thing to do to use sunshine.” And, they add, “Several have contacted Whidbey Sun and Wind for more information.”
A meter was installed in the entry of the Club with the running total of energy saved. Since July 1, 2011 the Island Athletic Club solar panels have produced 1901 kilowatt hours of energy, which helps reduce monthly utility bills and helps the bottom line of the Club.
In addition to the solar panels, Island Athletic Club has recently received a Whidbey Green Seal recognizing its efforts in several categories for conservation and environmentally safe practices, including: Replacing all of the lighting with fluorescent bulbs, switching to salt for water purification in the pool, and installing low flow shower heads.