Courtyard by Marriott Lancaster: The First 100% Solar-powered Marriott Hotel in U.S.

The First U.S. Marriott Hotel That’s 100% Solar-Powered

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.


how do solar arrays work


  • 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
“This investment in solar energy generation further reflects our commitment to conservation initiatives.”
Mark Fitzgerald, President and COO, High Real Estate Group LLC

100% Solar-Powered Marriott Hotel

Here Comes the Sun

install solar panels for Courtyard by Marriott Lancaster

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
The High Story
Solar array with Courtyard - Lancaster in the distance. Amy Spangler, Solar Media Day, 07.11.2018

Interesting Facts about Solar Power & Lancaster


Benefits of solar panels for hotels


With proven efficiency, solar technology has been getting more and more popular in the hospitality industry in recent years. There are numerous ways solar power can benefit businesses across different industries. In this post, we list three key ways hotels and resorts can save money and grow their businesses at the same time by installing solar panels.


Instant savings on energy bills 

While the cost to install solar panels is a fixed expense, the solar system continues producing energy through and even beyond 25 years. So, the money you pay to go solar will eventually be paid off. 


Demonstrate environmental stewardship 

It goes without saying that solar power in hotels can bring great environmental benefits: 

  • Generates sustainable and emission-free energy 
  • Requires few resources: no coal, trees, or any other fossil fuels 
  • Doesn’t harm the nearby ecosystem 
  • Reduces CO2 and other air pollutants 


Invest energy savings in multiple hotel upgrades 

Now, with the savings you’ll be getting from going solar, you are able to re-invest that in marketing. You can also think about making improvements in terms of hotel renovations, remodeling, and customer experience services. 


If going solar can free up thousands of dollars for your hotel per month, that’s a forever improvement to your profit margins. Even if you can only go solar for some parts of your system, that already means a five-figure savings every year. 


Lancaster & Solar power 


Pennsylvania isn’t exactly a Sun Belt state, so people may ask if a location at 40˚ North latitude receives enough sunlight to make a solar electric system viable. The answer is yes, and while Lancaster isn’t the world’s #1 location for solar power potential, it is still quite good, averaging 3.8 kWh/m2 daily available sunlight. 


Five factors determine a location’s solar potential: latitude, cloud cover, elevation, shading, and aerosols, which are minute particles suspended in the atmosphere. Using these criteria, scientists have determined that the place on Earth with the best solar potential is the Atacama Desert on the West Coast of South America. 


Pennsylvania receives about 2/3 the solar radiation of states in the Southwest U.S.; in 2016 it ranked 18th for solar kWh produced. As one of 29 states with a Renewable Portfolio Standard, Pennsylvania was required to obtain at least 0.5 percent of its electricity from solar by 2021. 

Frequently Asked Questions About Solar Powered Hotels

Answer: Hotels generate electricity from solar energy by installing solar panels on the ground or rooftops. Solar panel installation takes around three weeks, so hotels won't have to shut down during the construction period. 

Answer: Saving on hotels' electricity bills is obviously one of the most important benefits. Electricity generated from solar panels will be dropped into the hotels existing electrical systems and is a significant addition to the existing grid connection. 

Answer: Solar-powered hotels are easily recognized from the outside because their roofs or façades are usually covered with solar cells or solar panels.

Answer: Solar panels are known to last over 25 years. In fact, many solar panels installed back in the 80s are still working at expected capacity.

Answer: Even though solar panels need to be exposed to sunlight to generate power, you don't have to clean your solar panels frequently unless your neighborhood is smoggy, dusty, and dirty all year round.

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