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First Westin in World and Only Major Property in Caribbean Produces One GigaWatt Hour of Solar Power since June 2013; Also Installs Smardt Chiller for More Savings

PHILIPSBURG, ST MAARTEN (December 15, 2014) - The Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten made its mark as a game-changer in the hospitality industry by completing a landmark solar installation earlier this year that allows the resort to produce six to eight hours of its own power during peak times. 

The resort has harnessed the power of the Caribbean sun for more than a year and reached an environmental milestone by generating one Gigawatt hour of solar power, or one billion watt-hours. The resort also just installed a completely oil-free Smardt Chiller to further conserve energy; the Chiller is used in the air conditioning and refrigeration systems throughout the resort.

One GigaWatt hour of power is enough to provide annual power to 92 American households, and conserves more than 1.5 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which equals the emissions from more than 77 thousand gallons of gasoline consumed. It has also spared emissions equivalent to more than 1,600 barrels of oil consumed and enough carbon sequestering of more than 17,000 seedlings grown for 10 years. 

The resort began taking advantage of the island's abundance of sunshine in 2007 with the installation of solar panels to heat the water used in the property's guest rooms.  Phase I of the current resort-wide solar project was completed in June 2013, with the final phase completed in February 2014. 

Dan Szydlowski, Regional Director, states, "The capital investment not only makes an impact on environmental sustainability, but our resort has become even more attractive to groups seeking an energy efficient location. With the addition of the Smardt Chiller, we save a minimum of 30-35 percent in energy costs."

About the Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa, St. Maarten

Situated along the southeastern shore of St. Maarten, the 317-room Westin Dawn Beach Resort & Spa reflects the relaxed elegance and beauty of the Caribbean surrounded by endless miles of sparkling blue water, acres of tropical foliage and sprawling white beaches. The Westin is one of the largest upscale resorts in the Netherlands-governed province with its exquisite guestrooms and studios, including ocean front, ocean view and resort or island view, luxury condominiums and suites, a full-service European-style Hibiscus spa, fitness room, on-site casino, nearly 20,000 square feet of flexible function space, retail shops, the largest infinity pool on the island and endless water sports activities, creating a haven of relaxation and recreation.  Guests have the choice of three oceanfront restaurants, including a fine dining restaurant,  poolside café, lobby and pool bar and room service to satisfy any appetite.  For more information please call 1-721-543-6700 or visit\stmaarten and our facebook page 

Contact: Karen Gee-McAuley, RELEVANCE PR / 818.541-7724

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