BAKERSFIELD, Calif.—REC Solar has completed a 102-kilowatt array for The Hampton Inn & Suites Bakersfield North-Airport in Bakersfield, Calif. The carport-mounted installation will offset 44 percent 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.
“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 franchise hotels throughout the U.S. such as 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. Because hotels must maintain comfortable temperatures for their guests at all times, they can be some of the largest consumers of natural resources in hot communities like Bakersfield.
The Hampton Inn had expressed concerns about installing a rooftop array that would require closing the top floor of rooms and forfeiting revenue. As a result, REC Solar worked with The Hampton Inn to design a solar carport that did not require disruption to existing operations. The carport not only generates clean electricity but will also provide much-needed shade for 30 parked cars. REC Solar utilized HelioScope software to design the system, reducing installation time and costs. In addition to the solar array, Hampton Inn installed 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.”
The completion of both the solar array and the EV charging stations was marked by a ribbon-cutting ceremony on July 30, 2014.