Commercial solar provider REC Solar today announced it has completed a 102 kW array for The Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport, a subsidiary of Hilton Hotels (NYSE: HLT), in Bakersfield, California. The carport-mounted installation will offset 44% of the electricity costs for the 94-room hotel, saving up to $8,800 per month.
The installation reflects the company’s ongoing commitment to accelerating solar deployment with hospitality customers.
It also represents a turning tide for commercial solar applications. Businesses that wouldn’t have considered solar just a few years ago are increasingly turning to this clean power source for savings.
“Solar never made sense for us in the past,” said Braxton Myers, Vice President of Operations for Blackstone Hospitality Group Inc, which provides property management for The Hampton Inn. “But REC Solar delivered a price point that convinced us to take another look. They walked us through a range of financing options and designed a tailored carport system which offered many benefits. REC Solar came highly recommended by their existing customers, and have delivered on that sterling reputation throughout this process.”
With temperatures regularly reaching 115 degrees, the Bakersfield hotel faces steep cooling costs. Unlike homes, whose residents can always choose to use less air conditioning, hotels must maintain comfortable temperatures for their guests at all times. So they can be some of the largest power consumers in hot communities like Bakersfield.
While the Hampton Inn’s managers were interested in solar and convinced that it would save money, they were concerned about installing a rooftop array. That would require closing the rooms on the top floor during construction, which would mean lost revenue.
REC Solar wasn’t daunted by this challenge. Working with The Hampton Inn to, they came up with a solution that not only didn’t disrupt existing operations but also solves another problem: a carport. The carport not only generates clean electricity but also provides much-needed shade for 30 parked cars.
REC Solar used HelioScope software to design the system, reducing installation time and costs.
And the Hampton Inn didn’t stop at just a carport. In addition to the solar array, the hotel installed an amenity that’s becoming more sought-after for guests: two electric vehicle charging stations, with room for up to eight stations.
“Hotels can be ideal candidates for solar energy, but have traditionally faced roadblocks ranging from high costs to concerns around customer inconvenience,” said Mark Bettis, VP of Sales and Marketing for REC Solar. “REC specializes in tailoring systems specifically for the needs of these customers by cutting soft costs through our design software and building solar carports to avoid impact on customers. In addition to reducing costs, hotels are finding that sustainable initiatives such as solar energy and EV charging stations are becoming increasingly desirable amenities for their customers.”