Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. today announced it has signed an agreement with Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, for Southern Power’s 200-megawatt (MW) Reading Wind Facility. This initiative, which will offset up to 12 percent of Royal Caribbean’s emissions beginning in 2020, is the latest addition to the company’s extensive sustainability efforts, which include programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovations at sea and in port.
This project, Southern Power’s eleventh wind facility, is located in Osage and Lyon Counties, Kansas, and is Southern Power’s first to be validated as a carbon offset project under the Verified Carbon Standard. The agreement with Royal Caribbean provides Southern Power with the economic basis to construct the project. Royal Caribbean was advised on the execution of this agreement by Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services.
“This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company’s emissions and become a more sustainable operator,” said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. “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 facility is expected to generate roughly 760,000 megawatt hours per year over the duration of the 12-year agreement, which translates to enough clean energy to offset 10-12 percent of Royal Caribbean’s annual carbon emissions starting in 2020. With this innovative program, Royal Caribbean is able to apply a new approach while continuing its primary initiatives to advance sustainability efforts across the company’s fleet.
“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,” said Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip. “Reading Wind celebrates the first project in our joint development agreement with RES America Developments Inc. (RES), qualifying for 100 percent production tax credits and is an important addition to Southern Power’s portfolio. We’re proud to support Royal Caribbean’s innovative approach toward advancing its sustainability through this project.”
The 200-MW project was originally developed by RES who will lead the construction of the project alongside Southern Power. Reading Wind is expected to consist of 62 wind turbines manufactured by Siemens Gamesa. The project is expected to break ground in the second quarter of 2019 and is expected to be complete by the second quarter of 2020. Southern Power will operate and maintain the facility upon completion.
Royal Caribbean’s commitment to sustainability
Royal Caribbean has a longstanding commitment to environmental stewardship which the company expanded in 2016 to set ambitious and measurable goals to reduce the company’s environmental footprint. In addition to the agreement with Southern Power, Royal Caribbean is also employing several technologies and innovations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and create more efficient vessels, including:
– Advanced Emission Purification systems, which remove approximately 98 percent 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
– The introduction of new fuels such as liquefied natural gas, in the near future
– Onboard the ship: 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 cells