From Green Right Now Reports
The Moonrise Hotel in St. Louis is harnessing the sun and the moon in its quest to become the greenest hotel in the city.
Take notes hoteliers. This boutique hotel in the Delmar Loop, near Washington University, already has installed a charging station for electric cars and energy efficient lighting. Now owner Joe Edward has added a new roof that’s composed entirely of solar panels over the hotel’s renovated rooftop bar, dining and private party facility.
The panels capture sunlight during the day and convert it to electricity, and because they’re translucent, light can stream through day and night.
The moonlit roof is an inspired addition for the vintage Moonrise, which occupies a reclaimed mid-20th Century building on the busy Delmar strip of restaurants and clubs, near the landmark Pageant and Tivoli Theater. The re-imagined hotel is a whimsical homage to the space age, with photos of astronauts and mid-century decor.
St. Louis-based Microgrid Solar provided and installed the unique roof for the “New Moon Room.” It would have cost about $180,000 at full retail, but after incentives was only $60,000, less than what a new conventional roof would have cost, said a spokeswoman.
The 25.6 kilowatt solar array is up and running, ready for its public unveiling on Wednesday. It is expected to provide enough electricity to power the rooftop club and possibly the top two floors of the hotel, said Marc Lopata, president and principal engineer at Microgrid Solar.
Microgrid Grid has used the translucent solar panels for canopies and awnings, but this is the first time they’ve been employed as a watertight roof structure, said Rick Hunter, founder & CEO of Microgrid Solar.
"The most spectacular feature of the new facility is the solar canopy roof,” Hunter said. “Unlike traditional solar modules, the glass panels that form the roof are frameless, translucent modules that take the place of a traditional roof, and which allow sunlight – and moonlight – to peek through."