Moab’s Adventure Inn is about to go solar-powered with a photovoltaic system installation on its roof. The 72.8 kW system includes 181 Hanwa Q-cell solar modules at 330 watts each, and is projected to produce 104,120 kWh of power annually. The electricity generated by the system is expected to power 100 percent of the hotel’s 28 guest rooms and public spaces.
“This month we will be installing a solar system on our buildings to support all of our electric usage,” owner Markus Heimgartner told The Times-Independent. “We were able to submit the net metering application with Rocky Mountain Power. I had a few drivers for this decision and major project. One was of course, reading in your paper about the city’s commitment in early 2017 to go 100 percent renewable energy by 2032. The other was to make use of so much sunlight in Moab to help preserve and use alternate energy sources.”
The clean energy produced by the system is expected to equal a reduction of 135,981 pounds of CO2 each year, or planting 1,735 trees. In addition to the environmental benefits, the system has the potential to save the hotel more than $270,000 over the course of a 30-year system lifespan. The total cost for the system, which is designed by Salt Lake City-based Creative Energies, is just more than $142,000.
The project is the second in Moab to see a business fully powered by the rays of the sun. In June 2017, Red Rock Bakery became the first bakery in Utah to be powered by 100 percent solar energy. Owner Howard Trenholme installed 76 rooftop solar panels on his Main Street building. Trenholme said he was motivated by economic factors to install the panels. The panels, which have a 25-year lifespan, will pay for themselves after seven years, without considering tax incentives, he said.
“Ultimately you’ll get to the point where you’re not paying anything for electricity,” Trenholm said. Trenholme decided to install panels last spring, he added, before prospective changes in the rate of solar energy reimbursement in Utah were to go into effect.
According to Moab City Sustainability Manager Dr. Rosemarie Russo, the city is launching an initiative to certify local businesses that support the renewable energy goals the city has committed to. Russo praised Adventure Inn for their move to all-solar power.
“Adventure Inn not only is offsetting more than 100 percent of their energy use with their newly installed solar system, but they are the first Moab business to become a Green to Gold partner,” Russo said. “The environmental benefits of Adventure Inn’s system are equivalent to not burning 86,420 pounds of coal. Additionally, Markus has purchased high-efficiency Energy Star appliances and installed low-flow bathroom features. His fiscal and environmental stewardship exemplify what it means to be a business leader. His willingness to join the new Green to Gold business program is a win-win for the community. Adventure Inn also may be partnering with the city to install an electric vehicle charging station through a grant that the city received.”
Green to Gold is a free, voluntary program that offers solutions to help Moab businesses reduce environmental impact, save money and gain recognition for their achievements in energy and water conservation, waste reduction, alternative transportation and social responsibility. For more info on the program email Russo at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Two other local businesses, KZMU and the Inca Inn, are partially powered by solar arrays.
In addition to adding solar, Adventure Inn also has a recycling center and uses only eco-friendly laundry detergent, eco-friendly and bio degradable toiletries, coffee cups and plates.