The Frangipani Beach Resort will be tapping into Anguilla’s most abundant resource – the sun. The luxury Caribbean locale recently completed the installation of 800 photovoltaic solar panels which, when fully operational, is projected to power 70% of the resort. “For us, sustainability has always been important,” said Shannon Kircher, marketing manager at Frangipani. “…we’re hoping that us taking the lead sets the precedent and gets other people involved.”
The 19-room resort is expected to be fully energised on 15 May and will offset the costs of things such as hot water heaters, water production and air conditioning. “It’s not going to impact anything for our guests,” Kircher said. “They shouldn’t know anything is different. It won’t affect them. It won’t be adding on any fees, we just think it’s the right thing to do.”
The idea of adopting a more sustainable energy source has always been a focus of the resort Kircher said. Those plans turned into action after Hurricane Irma devastated the island 2017. “Four-plus months without power and we thought “Gosh if we had solar power we could have power right now,” Kircher said.
The solar panels are a combination of beauty and function and sit on a quarter acre of land at the resort. Unlike panels in the United States, which are often built on an angle, the ones at Frangipani lie flat. The idea is to limit a storm’s ability to rip up the panels.
The resort will also rely on backup power sources via a generator and the Anguilla power company. Plans are in place to add more panels to other buildings on the resort. Given its location at the entrance to the resort, guests and other area resorts have had a front-row seat to the entire installation process. The reception has been overwhelmingly positive.
As more Caribbean Islands make a push towards more sustainable options, Kircher hopes Frangipani serves as a blueprint. “It’s so positive that everyone thinks it’s good to be going green,” she said. “Hopefully this is the first step in going island-wide.”
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