The City Lodge Hotel Group (CLHG) is undertaking a large-scale solar project for the group at 25 of its 60 hotels. This follows a successful pilot study at the 118-room Road Lodge Centurion in Pretoria, which has a 50kWp (Kilowatt peak) generation system installed on the roof. The roll-out will result in nearly 4,250 solar panels being installed at 24 hotels in South Africa and one hotel in Namibia, with a combined energy output of approximately 1.45 megawatts of power. The full installation will cost approximately R20-million. The panels have an expected lifespan of 30 years.

The solar installation project will be completed towards the end of 2019 and is one of the most widespread ventures of its kind undertaken by a hotel group in South Africa. Once completed, these solar panels will generate approximately 10% of the entire group’s energy requirements.

Improving energy and water efficiency is a long-term environmental commitment by the group, and since 2011 CLHG has consistently reduced its absolute energy consumption by almost 40%, even while the hotel footprint has grown. CLHG was a runner-up in the Eskom eta Awards in 2013, an awards programme that recognises exceptional efforts in the efficient use of energy, which in turn benefits the environment.

“We are incredibly proud of the group’s achievements with regards to energy conservation over the years. This is a significant milestone for us as we enter a new era in renewable power generation, and a positive step towards our own business and environmental sustainability,” says Alastair Dooley, chief financial officer at CLHG.