In September, the Courtyard Marriott-Lancaster in Pennsylvania flipped a switch to power the hotel using 100 percent solar energy. The 2,700-panel, 135,200-square-foot project represents an investment in renewable energy that the meetings and hospitality industry are increasingly making.
Conference venues such as the Los Angeles Convention Center and Utah’s Salt Palace Convention Center are already using solar to decrease their carbon footprints and save money, and New York’s Jacob K. Javits Center is planning a host of sustainable features including solar for its expansion.
For some hotels, like the luxury Finolhu Villas on an atoll in the Maldives, solar is just practical. The 12-acre island is able to power the 54 villas that make up the resort without cables and power plants. While many of the hotels relying on solar are in regions with a lot of sun, like California, improved solar batteries for energy retention and deals with local energy companies to sell power back to the grid have made it an attractive renewable. Even the La Quinta Inn & Suites in Danbury, Conn., is investing in the technology.
Here are some solar-powered meeting and incentive venues for your next eco-friendly event.