Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd, (RCCL) the parent company of Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises and Azamara Club Cruises, have announced an agreement with Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholsesale energy provider for Southern Power’s 200 megawatt Reading Wind Facility.
This agreement will see RCCL offset upto 12% of Royal Caribbean’s emissions beginning in 2020 and is the latest initiative in the company’s extensive sustainabilty effort which looks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the the use of innovation at sea and in port.
Located in Osage and Lyon Counties, Kansas, the Reading Wind Facility is Southern Power’s 11th wind facility and the first wind farm to be validated as a carbon offset project under the Verified Carbon Standard. The agreement with Royal Caribbean provides Southern Power the economic basis to construct the project.
Speaking of the agreement with Southern Power, Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO of Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd stated:
“This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company’s emissions and ecome a more sustainable operator. We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, both in the short and long term, and thanks to our partnership with Southern Power, this is the latest step in our journey.”
The wind facility is expected to generate around 760,000 megawatt hours per year over a 12 year agreement which will translate to enough clean energy to offset 10-12% of Royal Caribbean’s annual carbon emissions, beginning in 2020. This will allow Royal Caribbean to be able to apply a new approach while continuing their primary initiatives to advance their sustainability efforts across the entire RCCL fleet.
Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip expressed his delight at the agreement with Royal Caribbean. He explained:
“Southern Power is thrilled to partner with Royal Caribbean to provide the company with a carbon offset project that will further complement Royal Caribbean’s expansive sustainability initiatives. Reading Wind celebrates the first project in our join development agreement with RES America Developments Inc. (RES) qualifying for 100 percent production tax credits and is an important addition to Southern Power’s porfolio. We’re proud to support Royal Caribbean’s innovative approach toward advancing it’s sustainability through this project.”
The 200 MW project was originally developed by RES and they will lead the construction of the project alongside Southern Power. Reading Wind will consist of around 62 wind turbines which will be manufactured by Siemens Gamesa and construction is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 with completion expected by the second quarter of 2020. Once completed, Southern Power will operate and maintain the facility.
This is the latest step in Royal Caribbean’s longstanding committment to their envirmonmental stewardship programme which the company expanded in 2016 to set ambitious and measurable goals to help reduce the company’s evironmental footprint. Royal Caribbean is also employing the latest state of the art technologies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more efficient vessels. These include: Advanced Emission Purification systems which remove around 98% of sulfur dioxide emissions; Air lubrication systems to reduce drag and increase fuel efficiency; Energy management software, an industry first, to achieve top fuel efficiency; Introduction of new fuels such as liquefied natural gas (LNG) in the near future and the use of energy-efficient equipment in galleys and the replacement of incandescent bulbs with fluorescent and LED lighting as well as the introduction of fuel cell..
The impact on the environment is also closely monitored with the Save the Waves programme where Royal Caribbean encourages guests to make a postitive impact on the environment by reducing waste, reusing and recycling and proper disposal of remaining waste.
Source: Southern Power & Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.