Fitness buffs in the Sunshine State can now get in shape at the first 24-hour gym powered by solar power. Planet Fitness in St. Petersburg, FL, received a green makeover by installing a 179 kilowatt solar canopy and rooftop array that will supply 99.5 percent of its electricity needs from the sun. In addition to LED lighting fixture upgrades to maximize the gym’s energy efficiency, the solar installation is expected to reduce the gym’s power bill by 99 percent.
"We are extremely excited to celebrate our first solar-powered Planet Fitness location system-wide," said Chris Rondeau, Planet Fitness' chief executive officer. "We are proud to support Doug's work on this important initiative and always work closely with our franchise partners to support their enterprises, encourage innovation and reduce our environmental impact wherever possible.”
Installing solar in high traffic, public places, like gyms and sports stadiums, promotes personal health, sustainability and educates communities about the environmental and financial benefits of going solar. The gym was able to acquire a 30 percent tax deduction on the installation and has the potential to save around $4,000 a month in power bills. The total savings will pay for the project in less than 6 years, Scott McIntyre, CEO of Solar Energy Management and developer of the project, told the Tampa Bay Times.
The solar rooftop and canopy were part of an overall redesign of the facility’s roof to maximize the available space for solar power. "Retrofitting the Planet Fitness location is truly a breakthrough and the first of its kind to provide affordable solar power in Florida. Having converted this building to zero energy will allow for significant energy savings for many years to come and we're honored to have been a part of the project,” said McIntyre.
Gyms around the US are adopting sustainable energy plans by installing solar and utilizing human kinetic energy to create net-zero facilities. For instance, Eco Gyms, outfitted with solar installations at three locations in Illinois, incorporate the use of treadmills, stationary cycles and other fitness equipment to covert kinetic energy into electricity. The gym keeps track of the amount of energy each member’s workout generates and offers them discounts on monthly membership dues.
“As a member of the St. Petersburg community, I am proud to be able to do our part in improving energy efficiency and contributing to a greener future," said Doug Kuiken, Planet Fitness franchisee. "We encourage everyone to check out the club and see exactly how much power is being produced by the solar panels using monitors available in the hallway.Tweet