Graceland Goes Greener
01 November 2011
Graceland Casino, Hotel and Country Club has recently taken another leap in transforming the resort into an eco-friendly place of business and leisure with the installment of an industrial-type solar system that will save up to 600kg of gas per day.
The resort is building on its adoption of energy saving initiatives like this as part of its effort to become an environmentally conscious resort. Earlier this year, Graceland which is located in Secunda, Mpumalanga increased electricity, water and gas saving initiatives as well as staff awareness to control energy usage. The new solar system consists of 100 panels and takes up 230 square meters of roof space and generates enough heat to heat up water to 90°C. Graceland General Manager Hennie Steenkamp said the primary purpose of going green is to make business more efficient. “The new solar system heats domestic water to between 60°C and 70°C for a 30 000 litre water tank.” Steenkamp explained.
The use of solar energy defrays operating costs and energy usage. “It also safeguards our environment. The biggest benefit of solar energy is the fact that it is an infinite source of energy. South Africa is ideal for using solar energy because of the sunny nature of our climate and as long as the sun shines, we have energy. Another benefit is that it does not create pollution,” said Steenkamp. “With solar energy we do not have to worry about power cuts and in the future we will look at further ways to reduce the usage of electricity and gas, by using heat exchangers. This will make us non-reliant on any gas to heat the water for domestic use or for the HVAC system.”
The maintenance on these panels is minimal and will cost the resort R5 000 per year with the life span of the panels being 25 years. Graceland will continue to improve its green projects and is already looking at other environmentally friendly plans. A future project being considered is water recovery whereby rainwater will be treated at a treatment plant and then reused.