POIPU, KAUAI, HI – October 1, 2008 – Celebrating completion of their new photovoltaic solar panel system, the Grand Hyatt Kauai Resort & Spa has taken a bold step to conserve resources and increase energy independence. Seeking a bright solar powered future, the resort partnered with SunPower Corporation, manufacturer of high-efficiency solar cells, panels and systems, to install the 18,500 square-foot, 280-kilowatt system over the employee parking lot, providing shaded parking as well as clean, renewable solar power for the resort.
Hosting contractors who worked on the project, county leaders and community members, the Grand Hyatt held a dedication for the structure last Friday with spokespeople from Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, SunPower Corporation and the resort’s owners, Kawailoa Development, addressing the attendees. Doug Sears, general manager of the Grand Hyatt Kauai exclaimed, “We are thrilled to be moving forward in our efforts to conserve resources. The resort has instituted many successful energy saving programs over the past 18 years reducing our electrical usage by over 1.5 million kWh annually, this solar project takes us to the next level of resource conservation and environmental responsibility.” The output from the system will reduce CO2 emissions by over 230,000 tons, further lessening oil dependence by at least 7,000 barrels annually. KIUC’s President and CEO, Randy Hee, commended the Grand Hyatt for their continued leadership in stewarding environmental conservation without sacrificing the island’s rural nature and aesthetic beauty. Jun Fukada, general manager of Kawailoa Development, owners of the Grand Hyatt Kauai, stated, "The new solar system represents our commitment to the environment. We hope this project will help inspire other business leaders also."
The resort is committed to shrinking its environmental footprint by reducing, reusing and recycling. Some of the steps the resort has taken include:
- A recycling program which diverts over 13 tons per month from the island’s landfill.
- A heat-to-energy conversion system that uses heat produced by the air-conditioning to heat water for guestrooms, laundry, and pools, conserves 205,000 kWh/year.
- Timers and variable speed drives on fans and water pumps reduce energy usage.
- Integrated Pest Management is practiced in landscaping, choosing biological controls over chemicals whenever possible.
- Reducing the use of harmful chemicals in dry cleaning, a Green Earth dry cleaning machine replaces petroleum-based solvents with gentle silicone, made from silica or sand.
- Take-out food containers and utensils are made from corn-based plastic. Plastic cups in the pool and spa area have been replaced with acrylic cups to reduce waste.
- The nearly standard hotel conservation programs are also in place including replacing all lights with CFL’s or LED’s which saves over 800,000 kWh/year, light timers and sensors are installed in many areas, air-conditioning is controlled by an energy management system, low-flow shower heads and toilets, and sink aerators reduce water consumption by 40-50%.
- The resort is working with other major hotels on Kauai to establish in-room recycling programs (currently at the Hyatt it is sorted after being removed from the guestroom).