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Total Tennis Celebrates Completion of Solar Panel Field

August 8, 2010 05:44 PM
The Total Tennis staff and new solar panels

Oversized racquets and resilient strings won’t be the only equipment generating power at Total Tennis camp in Saugerties, N.Y. The year-round tennis camp has completed installation of a solar panel field that will provide 30 percent of the camp’s annual energy needs.


The 468 panels were funded in part by federal and state rebates and will enable Total Tennis to sell excess electricity produced back to the grid.


"Environmental projects accomplish a multitude of goals," said Ed Fondiller, director of Total Tennis. "They create jobs, stimulate the economy, clean up the environment, and make the country energy independent.  This is where government and private sector dollars should be invested."


The panels are just one of the ways the camp has gone green. Four years ago, Fondiller converted his facility’s old furnaces and boilers to 95-percent efficient heating units and replaced all the windows in the three main buildings with energy-efficient windows.


Total Tennis has also reduced the garbage it produces by composting, even using paper napkins that are compostable. Guests receive their own 22-oz. cup with cover and straw during the outdoor season, plastic bottles and paper products are recycled, and what can’t be recycled in Saugerties, Fondiller brings back to his home in Brooklyn for recycling.


Fondiller’s concern about the environment even extends to the facility’s kitchen, which serves guests free range beef and poultry and vegetables from an on-site organic garden and local suppliers.


Fondiller credits his wife, an environmentalist he met at the California Tennis Camp in Schuylerville, N.Y., in 1975, with bringing recycling into his life, and childhood asthma for making him aware of the need for clean air. During the last decade, articles, radio shows, and television programs about global warming left him determined to take action.


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