It’s the Caribbean’s most abundant resource, and it’s powering a number of the region’s hotels: the sun. From hot water heaters to large-scale solar arrays, the Caribbean has an increasing number of solar-powered hotels. To continue our Earth Week coverage, here are some of the hotels where you can both enjoy the sun on the beach and use it as a source of energy. This isn’t a list of every solar-powered hotel, but it will give you an idea of the growing movement in the region, from those that get all of their power from the sun to others that heat their water with it. Here’s hoping more hotels in the Caribbean follow their lead.
Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa — St Maarten
After completing a large-scale panel array, this is now the region’s largest solar-powered resort, with 2,602 solar panels producing 755 kilowatts of energy. That means between six and eight hours a day when the property is powered entirely using the sun.
Tiamo Resort — Bahamas
This boutique resort on the island of Andros is 100 percent powered by solar energy, from the electricity in its rooms to its showers.
Casa Solaris at Hix Island House — Puerto Rico
This modern property on the Puerto Rican island of Vieques has six loft-style units bills itself as the first off-the-grid guest house in the Caribbean, with 100 percent solar power (yes, even the Wi-Fi).
Turtle Bay Inn — Puerto Rico
This guest house in the southwestern portion of Puerto Rico gets 90 percent of its energy during the day from the sun.
Maca Bana — Grenada
This boutique on the Spice Isle has been installing solar panels since 2007, and now has almost 50 panels in total. That means all seven of its villa units is entirely solar-powered.
Concordia Eco Resort — St John
This US Virgin Islands property’s units are all powered by photovoltaic systems, along with solar hot water heaters.
Rosalie Bay Resort — Dominica
The beautiful Rosalie Bay has 300 solar panels to generate energy for the resort (not to mention a 225-kilowatt wind turbine).
Hotel Mocking Bird Hill — Jamaica
With 18 solar panels, this eco-boutique is continuing a now six-year-long project toward using the sun to save almost 8,000 kilowatt-hours a year of energy — or almost 70 percent of its energy needs.
eXtreme Cabarete — Dominican Republic
This property, which largely focuses on the kite-surfing crowd, is 100 percent powered by solar energy in the bohemian enclave of Cabarete.
Rockhouse Hotel — Jamaica
Among the greener hotels in the Caribbean (in more ways than just energy), Rockhouse’s hot water is entirely powered by solar energy.
Bucuti & Tara Beach Resorts — Aruba
Another leader in the Caribbean hotel movement, Bucuti & Tara heats the water for all of its rooms with solar panels and even uses solar to power for its laundry.
Les Bananes Vertes — Guadeloupe
This eco-lodge in Guadeloupe, which has a focus on sustainability, gets all of its hot water from the sun.
Exerpts from CaribJournal