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Kenya’s first 100% solar hotel

The demand from eco-travelers is growing and Serena continues to adapt its business best practices model to meet the ecological travel experiences and expectations of today’s guest.

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All programs of Serena Hotels are aligned to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) set out by the United Nation Development Program. The newly-launched Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge solar power plant particularly aligns to “SDG 13 Climate Action” – with the aim of fighting climate change and its effects to the environment.

Serena Hotels and Mettle Solar OFGEN have officially opened “Kenya’s First Fully Solar Powered Lodge.” Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, located in Tsavo West National Park, implemented a fully-fledged solar power plant to provide for its entire power requirements and enhance environmental sustainability. The solar power plant is installed under a lease arrangement and produces 307kWp utilizing SMA Solar off-grid technology with 670kWh of usable lead acid battery storage, with the capacity to supply Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge’s total energy requirements during normal weather conditions. During adverse weather, additional energy needs are met using synchronized diesel generators which were previously the main source of energy before the commissioning of the solar plant in July 2017.

Mr. Francois Van Themaat, Managing Director, Mettle Solar OFGEN says, “This is among one of our first projects in the hospitality industry. It is a big win for Kenya to get a ground-breaking project like this, up and running. This took the effort of our researchers, engineers, suppliers and the Government of Kenya and we look forward to working with Serena Hotels for more ground-breaking projects.”

Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge, in October 2018 won the Special Award; “Extraordinary Business Case and CSR”, at the official Global Best Practice Awards 2018 ceremony in Milan, Italy. Kilaguni Serena won this award for using eco-friendly practices in providing professional textile care through sustainable and energy efficient laundry services as a result of the Solar Power Plant. Incorporating historic energy data insights to our business strategy is one of the key drivers that enabled our journey from the use of fossil based energy to renewable and effective energy sources such as the installation of the solar power plant.

solar, Kenya’s first 100% solar hotel, Buzz travel | eTurboNews |Travel News

Mr. Mahmud Jan Mohamed, Managing Director, Serena Hotels added his own voice when he said: “The Company continues to focus on innovative programs that respond to the needs of the environment, economy and communities within which it operates – the fundamental tenets of Sustainability”. He further added, “The demand from eco-travelers is growing and Serena continues to adapt its business best practices model to meet the ecological travel experiences and expectations of today’s guest. The hotel sector is energy-intensive and despite being remotely located in the park; we have successfully managed to use a clean-renewable source of energy to fully run the lodge operations.”

The off-grid solar system by Mettle Solar OFGEN has been implemented in two properties; Amboseli Serena Safari Lodge that has the very first Tesla Inverter/Battery System in Kenya and the largest battery system in East Africa, while Kilaguni Serena Safari Lodge’s solar plant is recognized as Kenya’s largest Solar PV System on tracker. Additionally, the firms commissioned two hybrid projects in early February 2018 at Lake Elmenteita Serena Camp and Sweetwaters Serena Camp. In the years to come, these systems will enable Serena Hotels to make major strides in decreasing its operational costs and carbon foot print thus contributing to a healthier environment now and for our next generations.

Mr. Thorsten Ronge, Managing Director, SMA Solar Technology South Africa said:, “The projects focus on secure and environmentally friendly energy supply is testament to SMA’s vision of ‘generating energy where it is needed’. We are proud that our Sunny Island battery inverters, which have been shipped to the world for nearly twenty years to generate clean and reliable electricity in remote locations, form the heart and brain of Kilaguni’s off-grid solar installation. SMA congratulates Serena Hotels and Mettle Solar OFGEN on this extraordinary project and solar powering the historic safari lodge.”

According to the solar power plant data records, 467 tons of carbon dioxide has been avoided since the last 15 months of installation. To extract this carbon dioxide from the environment naturally within 10 years 37,399 trees need to be planted. The solar power plants complement the Serena East Africa tree planting initiative that has taken place for over two decades.

solar, Kenya’s first 100% solar hotel, Buzz travel | eTurboNews |Travel News

Author: Alain St.Ange

Alain St Ange has been working in the tourism business since 2009. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. He was appointed as the Director of Marketing for Seychelles by President and Minister of Tourism James Michel. After one year of After one year of service, he was promoted to the position of CEO of the Seychelles Tourism Board. In 2012 the Indian Ocean Vanilla Islands regional Organization was formed and St Ange was appointed as the first president of the organization. In a 2012 cabinet re-shuffle, St Ange was appointed as Minister of Tourism and Culture which he resigned on 28 December 2016 in order to pursue a candidacy as Secretary General of the World Tourism Organisation. At the UNWTO General Assembly in Chengdu in China, a person who was being sought after for the “Speakers Circuit” for tourism and sustainable development was Alain St.Ange. St.Ange is the former Seychelles Minister of Tourism, Civil Aviation, Ports and Marine who left office in December last year to run for the position of Secretary General of the UNWTO. When his candidature or document of endorsement was withdrawn by his country just a day before the elections in Madrid, Alain St.Ange showed his greatness as a speaker when he addressed the UNWTO gathering with grace, passion, and style. His moving speech was recorded as the one on the best marking speeches at this UN international body. African countries often remember his Uganda address for the East Africa Tourism Platform when he was a guest of honor. As former Tourism Minister, St.Ange was a regular and popular speaker and was often seen addressing forums and conferences on behalf of his country. His ability to speak ‘off the cuff’ was always seen as a rare ability. He often said he speaks from the heart. In Seychelles he is remembered for a marking address at the official opening of the island’s Carnaval International de Victoria when he reiterated the words of John Lennon famous song… ” you may say I am a dreamer, but I am not the only one. One day you will all join us and the world will be better as one”. The world press contingent gathered in Seychelles on the day ran with the words by St.Ange which made headlines everywhere. St.Ange delivered the keynote address for the “Tourism & Business Conference in Canada” Seychelles is a good example for sustainable tourism. This is therefore not surprising to see Alain St.Ange being sought after as a speaker on the international circuit. Member of Travelmarketingnetwork.

solar, Kenya’s first 100% solar hotel, Buzz travel | eTurboNews |Travel News