Crowne Plaza Alice Springs has today set the benchmark for Australia's business sector and hotel industry when it switched on the largest building mounted solar photovoltaic (PV) system in the Southern Hemisphere and began its $50,000 in-house energy efficiency program.
The ground-breaking $3.3 million PV installation will reduce the hotel's energy consumption by 40-80 percent dependant on the time of year, with the energy efficiency program further reducing consumption by 18 percent.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs owners, Investnorth Pty Ltd hope other Australian businesses will follow their example.
Investnorth principal Lloyd Berger says, "Australia's movement towards a green economy is not just about incorporating renewable energy technology into new buildings; we should also concentrate on how existing infrastructure can be adapted to dramatically increase energy efficiency and we are pleased to be leading the way."
The Crowne Plaza Alice Springs energy efficiency program includes:
Drawing live data from the hotel's rooftop solar panels to feed into an in-house solarPV television channel so guests can see how much energy the hotel is saving at any given time of the day; important with the increasingly green-conscious consumer.
Installation of ‘Energy Eye' - an innovative technical solution to managing heating and cooling of guest rooms, allowing the hotel to minimise the energy consumption of its air-conditioning by detecting whether or not a guestroom is occupied. The system is smart enough to detect a room is occupied even when a guest is sleeping allowing a comfortable night's rest at their desired temperature.
Replacement of over 3110 light bulbs with energy efficient options in all guest rooms, foyers, meeting spaces, restaurants, corridors and back of house areas to save nearly 270,000kWh per year; the equivalent of powering 30 family homes.
Installation of Jemflo showerheads into all guest rooms to improve water and gas usage - savings of 11,580 kilolitres of water each year, enough to fill over 30 Olympic swimming pools, and 778,120 MegaJoules of gas.
The rooftop solar PV installation will provide the greatest overall energy saving and reduce the hotel's annual carbon footprint by 420 tonnes of CO2. The system will generate over 530,000 kWh per year, which is enough to power a further 60 family homes.
Crowne Plaza Alice Springs general manager Adam Glass said, "We are located in one of the hottest parts of the country. This means on one hand that we are a large consumer of energy, but on the other, we have access to a ready renewable resource to significantly offset that consumption. The water and energy savings that will result from our plans are staggering."
The project is a joint initiative between the owner of Crowne Plaza Alice Springs, Investnorth Pty Ltd, and the Australian Government, and is part of the Alice Solar City Project - one of the seven cities selected for funding under the Australian Government's $94 million Solar Cities Program.