Green season is just around the corner in Costa Rica, but we here at Hacienda like to consider our environment and vision “green” all year round! Not only are we aiming to self-sustainably fuel 80% of our restaurant needs by end of 2015 via our outstanding new organic garden, but we also strive to keep it clean for Mama Nature in any way possible.
One of the biggest steps towards eco-elevated service was in late 2014 when owners of Hacienda Crystal & Ramiro Gallardo decided to move over to solar energy. Ramiro sourced out a company run by a fellow named Monty, who at first glance looks like something out of a Mad Max movie; a tattooed bad ass with a finely honed instinct for the most efficient way of getting things done. Monty is a highly skilled electrician from Germany that is bridging state of the art green technology with the limitations inherent in jungle living – a perfect fit for this new eco-initiative!
Hacienda began installation in August 2014 and just finished installing the last few panels in early May of this year. The units have homes atop a few cabina roofs, and there are a few scattered here and there throughout the resort grounds, channeling enough of the sun’s super power as possible, with minimal distraction from the tranquil nature of Hacienda’s land. There is even a cluster of panels out in the garden area, serving double purpose as cover to grow our shade vegetables!
So far, all of the water in Hacienda is heated using the power of our solar panels, and the electricity in our kitchen and private bungalows where our guest stay are also solar fed. Currently we sit at about 60% solar powered, and it is our hope that once this ongoing project draws to a close, we will be closer to 80%, with our next big areas to target being the hotel office and the water pumps for our salt water pool and private well.
So why solar?
Solar energy is independent of power grids and fuel sources, meaning renewable energy sources like solar can reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Every ray of sunshine that hits the panels is a chance to lower electricity cost while reducing our carbon footprint. Plus, it’s infinitely renewable. The sun has been around for billions of years and is likely to burn on for many more to come. While nonrenewable energy sources like gas, oil and coal are becoming increasingly scarce, the sun’s energy is seemingly limitless. Wherever sunlight shines, electricity can be generated. And there is plenty of sol, here at Hacienda del Sol!