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Baha Mar Goes Renewable

Baha Mar has signed on with a renewable energy company to provide air conditioning for the resort – a move that will save it up to 85 percent on its power bill.
Ocean Thermal Engineering (OTE) plans to build the plant and pumping station on Long Cay, part of Baha Mar property, and will cover all of the construction and maintenance costs.
Baha Mar becomes the second resort in the world to use this technology, said Tommy Jones,  Vice President in charge of Operations Development.
“We were definitely interested in environmentally friendly applications, and with OTE, we have been able to create a deal where the design and building of the facility is taken care of,” he told Guardian Business.
“We will buy chilled water from them on a tonne-hour basis. What makes this viable is not having to worry about infrastructure costs and the low operating costs in the future.”
In basic terms, OTE will pump freezing water located 3,000 to 4,000 feet below the surface. This water is then run through an exchanger, which then distributes it through pipes throughout the resort to cool the rooms. The water is later returned directly into the ocean or rerouted through a well.
To put it in context, this innovative system will supply air conditioning to six hotels, the 100,000 square-foot casino and a conventional center, among other venues.
A few years ago, InterContinental Thalasso-Spa Bora Bora, which comprises 80 villas on the beach in the French Polynesia, became the first to use the system with great success. The establishment saves 90 percent on its power bill and produces the equivalent of 660,000 gallons, or 2.5 million liters, of fuel each year.
Cornell in the U.S. and the downtown core of Toronto in Canada also use “Deep Sea Cooling”, as the process is often called.
OTE is the parent company of Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTEC), which signed on last week to build at least two renewable energy plants for the Bahamas Electricity Corporation (BEC).
This project differs in its approach, however, Ocean Thermal Energy makes use extremely cold and warm water to produce steam, which then drives turbines and creates electricity.
BEC is the first utility company in the world to provide this form of energy to the general public.
Jeremy Feakins, the CEO of OTEC, said engineers are in The Bahamas now helping with the Baha Mar project. He said the system is capacity of reducing electricity use by up to 90 percent.
“With air conditioning, you save electricity and it has practical purposes. Meanwhile, you avoid large, intrusive and noisy units. There is no charge in terms of installing this technology. we are just the AC provider.”
For Jones, he sees the project as not only smart environmentally, but a savvy move to save the resort money down the line.
Rather than returning the water directly to the open, Baha Mar is looking into the possibility of building a “discharge well”, which could be “cheaper and more efficient”. The plan is to have the system up and running nine months before the resort opens.
“Interiors will be finished and we’ll need to have the climate control on,” he said. “It also gives us time to solve any problems, should they arise.”

Source: Nassau Guardian

Category/ies:Bahamas News.
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