The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten has utilized solar panels to increase sustainability and replace its energy consumption throughout the resort. The Westin Dawn Beach is the first St. Maarten resort, the first Westin hotel or resort in the world, and the only major resort in the Caribbean to implement the use of solar power. The resort began taking advantage of the island’s abundance of sunshine in 2007 with the installation of solar panels to heat the water used in the property’s guest rooms. Now, the Westin St. Maarten is completing a solar installation that allows the resort to produce six to eight hours of its own power during peak times.
The resort’s owner, Columbia Sussex Corporation, working with OneWorld Sustainable, has completed the installation of 2,602 Lightway solar panels for a total system capacity of 755 kilowatts. The completed solar system will produce approximately 1,223,000 Kilowatt hours per year. This is enough electricity to power 111 average sized American homes. The system will avoid 1.9 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions or the equivalent of CO2 emissions from energy used by 43 homes annually, or 707 acres of forest preserved from deforestation by carbon sequestering.
To install the panels and mounting hardware, OneWorld Sustainable worked with a local St. Maarten company whose employees provided valuable assistance during the three month-long project. OneWorld Sustainable’s President, Tim Blackwell, states, “In very few places around the world does it make better sense to utilize the power of the sun to generate electricity than in the Caribbean.”
Dan Szydlowski, Regional Director, states, “With sunshine nearly guaranteed year round, we saw only positive attributes to making this capital and environmental investment."
About OneWorld Sustainable
Since 2002, OneWorld Sustainable has been providing solar energy and energy efficiency products and services for industrial, commercial, and residential clientele throughout the U.S. and beyond. Considered a forerunner in the industry, OneWorld Sustainable’s leadership team has been involved in the renewable energy field for decades and has a combined total of over 50 years of experience in solar energy and energy efficiency. OneWorld Sustainable is responsible for the development of a southeast regional, U.S.-based solar schools program, which is designed to encourage student interest in environmental and social sustainability issues. This initiative began as a pilot project in 2003 and has since grown to include over 60 public middle and high schools throughout Georgia and South Carolina. OneWorld Sustainable’s international outreach initiative includes the installation of small solar home PV systems throughout East Africa. Since 2004, they’ve worked with Africa‐based companies to deliver electricity to marginalized and disconnected families, organizations, and communities in Kenya, South Sudan, Uganda, and Tanzania.