New Monart Solar Farm Set to Power Entire Griffin Hotel Group

8 May , 2023  

The Griffin Hotel Group which includes Monart Destination Spa, Hotel Kilkenny and Ferrycarrig Hotel in Wexford are set to be powered by the brand-new 10-acre Monart Solar Farm. Phase one of the solar farm has been completed and is now operational on the grounds of the adjacent multi-award-winning Monart Destination Spa in County Wexford.

Since 2014 the Griffin Hotel Group has been rolling out a long-term strategic sustainability plan under the direction of Kieran McCrea from Clevernet and Energy Consultant Specialist Ken Mc Elhinney who is now the group’s director of sustainability. 

Kieran McCrea from Clevernet has been assisting the group with the company’s energy mapping and providing reliable real-time management data to understand the company’s energy profile and where savings can be made. Michael Griffin, the CEO of Griffin Group, says “Kieran working with our sustainability director Ken has been a great asset to the company in providing external assistance on this project; gaining insight into the data has certainly helped shape our green investment priorities.”

The hotel group identified this exciting development as part of their multi-phase carbon reduction and sustainability programme that is ongoing at the Griffin Hotel Group and they are delighted to now see phase one of the solar farm completed, which will offset the entire energy demand of Monart Destination Spa at peak. In addition, the company has invested substantial capital in deploying building controls for heating and cooling with an aggressive efficiency replacement plan for plants, pumps, and lighting. Bio-mass boilers have also been installed along with combined heat and power (CHP) units and support for EV charging has been put in place. Real-time monitoring of energy is also in place in order to continuously measure and improve the sustainability and efficiency of providing services to hotel guests.

The director of sustainability on the board of Griffin Group, Ken McElhinney, stated, “It is a testament to the commitment of the Griffin Hotel Group that we see the first phase of the solar farm completed. This development will move the company in an inspiring way towards reaching its ambition of being a leader in the hospitality sector for real and tangible sustainability results.”

A capital investment of three-quarters of a million euros sees the first phase complete. This consists of an array of ground-mounted solar panels with a 500-kilowatt peak. The second phase is currently in development planning with ESB Networks as this project is now part of ECP-2, the CRUs enduring connection policy in Ireland. This additional phase will see the rollout of a further 1-megawatt peak array, giving the final Monart Solar Farm the capacity of 1.5-megawatt peak energy creation which will offset the energy demand for the three properties, Monart Destination Spa, Hotel Kilkenny and Ferrycarrig Hotel. It is the aim of the group to complete phase two of the Monart Solar Farm within the next 12 months.

Michael Griffin highlights; “We have been working on the solar project since 2021, and it is fantastic that phase one is now up and running. I am delighted that our team worked with local expertise in bringing this energy generation project to life; Pinergy SolarElectric and Robert Hassey Electrical are all based within 15 minutes of our Solar Farm location at Monart.”

Ken Mc Elhinney highlights that “energy is a significant part of our sustainability plan; but at the Griffin Hotel Group, we are also focused on water usage, waste, packaging and transport initiatives.  We aim for real improvements across all these headings over the next 10 years. We are determined to drive further  sustainable results.”

Liam-Anthony Griffin; director of the Griffin Group, highlights that “We fundamentally believe that given the need for commercial organisations to take their climate change responsibilities seriously; dedicating a section of our land to Solar PV energy generation is both strategically important and urgent not only for our own sustainability goals but also for the wider community as we all try to mitigate against the effects of climate change for future generations.”

Finally, Michael Griffin says, “Operating a sustainable business in every sense has always been critically important at the Griffin Hotel Group, for our guests, for our team, for future generations and for the environment. The opportunity to green our entire energy operations has been a much-desired long-term goal, so to be in a position to run the properties using natural resources is a momentous occasion and we are entirely thankful to everyone involved.

It really takes a village to bring together a project of this scale and significance, and we have been fortunate to work with great partners. It was critical to construct this project while not negatively impacting the renowned Monart Destination Spa guest experience. This meant that during our annual Christmas two-week closure period, we had a tiny window to do a mountain of preparatory groundwork in adverse weather; we would like to shout out to all the team who came together to make that happen in December; they are too many to name but too important not to mention; a sincere thank you to all.”