Hollywood hotel casts ClearEdge fuel cell in supporting role

The system will handle about 45 percent of the electricity needs for the refurbished Lafayette Hotel, whose guests once included stars such as Ava Gardner and Bob Hope.
Written by Heather Clancy, Contributor

The Lafayette Hotel, a historic site in San Diego whose swimming pool was designed by "Tarzan" star Johnny Weismuller, has installed a 40-kilowatt ClearEdge Power fuel cell as part of a massive remodeling.

The cell should help the property save up to $30,000 annually in energy costs, according to the partnership that operates the Lafayette. It will handle approximately 45 percent of the electricity that the property needs to operate, according to ClearEdge Power. There are seven buildings on the site, hosting 131 guest rooms.

The ClearEdge Power fuel cell uses natural gas to produce its energy; the electrochemical process that takes place along the way generates enough heat to keep the Olympic-sized swimming pool's temperature between 76 degrees and 79 degrees Fahrenheit year-round.

The heat generated by the ClearEdge Power fuel cells can keep the Lafayette Hotel's historic pool heated year-round.
The heat generated by the fuel cells can keep the Lafayette Hotel pool warm year-round.

"One of the key challenges in this renovation was finding an alternative energy solution that would preserve the building's historic value," said Tara Hamacher, president and owner of Historic Consultants, in the press materials about the project. "With ClearEdge Power's fuel cell system, we were able to comply with strict guidelines and qualify for energy upgrade rebates and tax credit incentives that help make this renovation a reality in one of the toughest real estate and hospitality recessions."

The energy efficiency measures embraced by the hotel, which should save $70,000 annually, helped the property managers qualify for tax credits that helped fund installation of the ClearEdge Power fuel cell system, which is housed in the basement of the main building.

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