Some of them light up common areas, gardens and restaurants with solar energy

In an effort to reduce their carbon footprint, hotels, both big and small, are taking to solar energy.

Many of them have started banking on clean energy at least for a small percentage of their vast requirements. Apart from heating water for cooking purposes, which is something that many hotels are doing, there are some that have lit up common areas, gardens and even restaurants with solar energy.

“After the State government came out with the solar policy many non-star hotels and restaurants have become more aware of the potential of solar energy. Hopefully, more people will join the bandwagon. Many restaurants have gone for pre-heating of water. They heat water up to 85 degrees centigrade and then use fossil fuel to reach 100 degree centigrade,” said R. Srinivasan, secretary, Tamil Nadu Hotels Association, who has powered a 64-seater restaurant at his Vasan Tiffan Home in Madurai with solar energy.

The Grand Bay Resort, Mamallapuram, has lit up its gardens and outdoor areas by sourcing power from the sun. Its director, J. Sethuraman, said that at present they require 500 litres of diesel during an eight-hour shutdown. “We are planning to scale up from 5 KW to 30 KW next year, which would give us 270 units of electricity per day for 250 days a year. According to our calculations, it would give us a saving of 25 per cent on our energy consumption,” he explained.

T.R. Srivathsan, managing director, Only Coffee India Pvt Ltd, who runs an outlet near Madurantakam on NH45 to Tiruchi, said that for the past 1.5 years a solar unit had been helping them manage without a generator.

“A small freezer, eight lights, three fans and a music system run completely on solar energy during the daytime. I don’t mind the investment cost as I am saving on diesel,” he said.

Apart from rooftop solar power plants, larger hotels including ITC Grand Chola and The Gateway Hotel IT Expressway Chennai also utilise wind energy, cutting down on their electricity consumption.

Keywords: solar energy

More In: Chennai | Society