Courtyard by Marriott Lancaster: The First 100% Solar-powered Marriott Hotel in U.S.
Courtyard by Marriott-Lancaster Sets the Pace
At 133 rooms, the Courtyard by Marriott-Lancaster at 1931 Hospitality Drive is the first Marriott-branded hotel in the United States with 100 percent of its electricity needs generated from solar power. It is also believed to be the first solar array in the country installed for the sole purpose of generating 100 percent of the electricity needs of a hotel.
In just one hour, the sun sends more than enough power to Earth to meet the planet’s energy needs for a full year, and High’s Courtyard By Marriott Hotel in Lancaster is now harnessing that power to generate more electricity than the facility actually uses.
The Marriott has installed a solar power system that creates about 1,239,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity every year, while the hotel uses only about 1,177,000 kilowatt-hours. The excess power becomes an asset that High sells to the local utility. Any extra solar electricity then goes back into the power grid to help supply nearby homes and businesses with clean renewable energy.
Producing this much electricity requires a lot of solar panels and a lot of space, whether on a roof or on the ground. The Marriott’s solar array of 2,700 panels is more than two football fields in size, which is too big for the roof of the hotel. So High placed the system on the roof of a warehouse near the hotel within Greenfield. To enable hotel guests to see how much power the system is producing in real time, High installed a meter in the hotel lobby.
- Creates enough electricity to power 138 homes for a year
- Guests can see a meter display and take pride in choosing this first-solar-powered Marriott
- Guests notice no difference in the function of electrically-powered amenities at the hotel
A Shared Vision
The successful completion of this large project required the cooperation of many parties, both within and outside High. First is the partnership between High and Marriott. Both companies strive for excellence in all they do and share an ongoing, mutually beneficial relationship that produces great results in every venture in which they cooperate.
The cost of the solar electric system was $1.5 million, and The Pennsylvania Department of Economic and Community Development's Commonwealth Financing Authority supplied a grant of $504,900. Special thanks go to Pennsylvania State Representative Keith J. Greiner and Pennsylvania State Senator Scott Martin for helping to secure this grant.
“This is a cutting-edge project that is exactly the kind we are looking for to promote the generation and use of solar energy," said DCED Secretary Dennis Davin. "I am very pleased that the first Marriott in the U.S. to receive 100 percent of its electric needs through a renewable solar energy system is located right here in Central Pennsylvania."
Other vital partners:
- M&T Bank, which supplied the financing for the project
- MVE Group in Ephrata, the electrical contractor who did the construction and installation work necessary to get the solar power flowing
- Within the High companies, participating organizations were High Hotels, High Real Estate Group, High Associates, and High Properties
More Sustainable Steps
Generating the hotel’s own electricity is one environmentally conscious improvement, and another important step is the replacement of the hotel’s traditional lighting with LED lamps. The hotel has a lot of lights and replacing them with LEDs has reduced the hotel’s overall power consumption by 15 percent.
All High Hotel properties have comprehensive plans to make them good stewards of the earth and its resources, including:
- Comprehensive Recycling Programs
- Installing low-flow faucets, showerheads, and toilets
- Donating linens and other items throughout the communities in which they operate
Throughout Greenfield, High’s flagship business center where the Courtyard-Lancaster is located, High has been taking on and fulfilling their commitments to environmental sustainability for decades. The creation of the first energy-independent Marriott Hotel is just one more earth-friendly step that High has taken.
- Restoration of two riparian buffers along the streams that cross the corporate center, including being the first property of its kind in Lancaster to restore such a buffer in 1999
- Installation of free electric vehicle charging stations in 2012
- Upgrade of campus buildings with high-efficiency fluorescent lighting, or LED, as well as occupancy sensors
- Modification of planting areas to indigenous species to reduce watering requirements
- Roof replacements made with increased insulation to prevent heating and cooling loss
- Installation of high-efficiency HVAC systems
- Materials removed in renovations recycled; new material selections reviewed for recyclable content in their manufacturing
The High Philosophy
Sanford H. High founded High Welding Company in 1931 with a keen focus on innovation and serving his customers — and serving them well. This came to be known as The High Way.
We are committed to two great tasks:
Building Trustworthy Relationships
- Valuing our customers and meeting their needs
- Respecting the dignity of all co-workers and their families
- Energizing our teamwork with participative management
- Recognizing and rewarding the accomplishments of our co-workers
- Strengthening our partnerships with suppliers
- Contributing to a world of beauty and prosperity and peace
Being Innovative Leaders
- Creating an environment for innovation since 1931
- "Right the first time" - High-quality products and services
- Investing profits to secure our future