Sunny Sides Up

Post Ranch Inn installs new solar panels

By: By Christine Trang

Post Ranch Inn // (c) 2009

Post Ranch Inn

Nestled on the cliffs of Big Sur, Post Ranch Inn offers 40 uniquely designed rooms, each with panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean and the Ventana mountains. This luxury hotel is not only recognized for its organic architecture, picturesque scenery or comforting spa treatment, but also for its continuous dedication to the environment. Adding to the Post Ranch Inn’s reduced wattage lighting, green roofs, gray water systems and organic bedding is the hotel’s new 990-panel solar installation. This solar array is specifically designed to maximize solar efficiency by tracking the sun’s progress throughout the day. The installation is a grid-connected system that works in unison with the utility grid. When not enough solar power is produced for what the entire property requires, the utility grid supplies the difference. When more solar power is produced, however, the meter turns backward and generates credit. This solar array is owned and operated by Recurrent Energy, a distributed power company and leading provider of onsite solar energy.

Currently one of the largest hotel solar projects in California, this leading green coastal property is now capable of reducing carbon emission by approximately 611,000 pounds annually. That reduction in carbon emission is almost equivalent to removing more than 50 vehicles off the road. This new installation is not the first time the Post Ranch Inn has deeply focused on the environment, however. This site also preserves large, old-growth trees; consists of sustainable materials; and is home to a food and beverage program that is set out to support local farming.

In order to further involve guests and staff, Post Ranch Inn prides itself on its up-to-date monitoring station, located in the hotel’s library. This monitor accurately displays how much power is being generated at any given moment. For online users, the online monitor includes current and historic performance data, the latest environmental savings statistics, live weather records from Big Sur and other general project information and photos.