PHILIPSBURG, ST MAARTEN—The Westin St. Maarten Dawn Beach Resort & Spa plans to install and utilize solar panels to replace energy consumption throughout the resort. According to the company, this will be the first Westin hotel or resort to do so.
Owned by Columbia Sussex Corp., the company hired Anthony Prall Jr.’s Caribbean Energy Store to design a system for its 317 guestrooms, restaurants, restrooms, laundry facilities and spa. This follows a 2007 move to utilize solar panels to heat the water used in guestrooms.
Phase one of the solar photovoltaic system has been installed on the resort’s roof and includes 480 Suntech solar panels, with 1,200 solar panels expected to be installed by 2014. Phase one of the solar system will produce more than 3660 kilowatt hours of electricity per hour.
According to Prall, the system will avoid 40 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions and 35,000 pounds of nitrogen oxide emissions over the next thirty years. It will also save 4,875 tons of oil, otherwise needed for electricity production, which is the equivalent of planting 2,500 trees annually.
According to the hotel, the goal of the plan is to operate in strictly solar mode for six hours of the day.