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Kauai resort is more than a pretty face; new power plant makes it a green travel champ

Kauai resort's new power plant is an environmental champ; it can generate all of the resort's power needs

A resort on Kauai’s North Shore is going greener -- something travelers like -- and cutting its electric bill by as much as half, thanks to a co-generation plant.

To reduce its carbon footprint and save money, the Westin Princeville Ocean Resort Villas has completed construction of a power plant that features co-generation. It still requires fuel, but this plant captures and uses the thermal energy that typical power stations waste.

Nearly two-thirds of travelers consider "greenness" when they're choosing accommodations, transportation and meals, according to a 2013 TripAdvisor survey reported in Forbes. TripAdvisor's Green Leaders program helps consumers find environmentally conscious hotels, Forbes said.

The Westin Princeville's new system provides about 90% of the resort’s electrical needs. It’s also producing the hot water needed for all eight buildings as well as four swimming pools and three whirlpools.

The Westin’s co-gen system is capable of producing up to 100% of a resort’s energy needs, a statement says.

With nearly 350 villas, the Westin Princeville is among the largest consumers of electricity on Kauai. Most of the island’s electricity is generated by imported diesel fuel.

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