ClearEdge helps historic Lafayette Hotel save with fuel cells
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
The Lafayette Hotel's "Tarzan"-designed pool will be warmed with the help of a ClearEdge fuel cell system.
A historic San Diego landmark, The Lafayette Hotel, is reopening this week after a $4 million renovation and will sport 40 kilowatts in fuel cells from ClearEdge Power.
The fuel cells will save the hotel an estimated $30,000 in annual energy costs and reduce the hotel's carbon footprint while generating 45 percent of the building's electricity.
The hotel is known as a one-time playground for movie stars including Bob Hope and Ava Gardner. Its pool was designed by "Tarzan" actor Johnny Weissmuller.
The hotel management — Hampstead Lafayette LLC owns the hotel — worked with San Diego Gas & Electric on overall energy efficiency upgrades for the hotel with a goal of reducing overall operating costs by $70,000 per year.
Housed in the basement of the hotel’s main building, the ClearEdge system does not affect the building’s exterior and, as a bonus, efficiently heats the hotel pool. The heat produced as a byproduct of the electrochemical process the fuel cells use to convert natural gas to electricity, will help keep the pool’s temperature between 76 and 79 degrees all year round.
By complying with historic preservation guidelines The Lafayette Hotel became the first Energy Star historic hotel in the San Diego area.
Hillboro-based ClearEdge Power, which is on the path to potentially become a public company, has long identified hotels as a strong market for its fuel cells.
CEO Russell Ford leads ClearEdge Power.
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