Sustainable luxury resort operator, Soneva, is harnessing the power of renewable and solar energy for greener operations at its properties in the Maldives.

Soneva Fushi in the Baa Atoll and Soneva Jani in the Noonu Atoll are targeting close to 50% of their energy needs to be generated from photovoltaic (PV) sources in 2024, thanks to the addition of new PV installations, marking a major increase from around 12% at Soneva Fushi previously.

“Our investment in solar energy demonstrates our commitment to sustainability at the same time as contributing positively to our bottom line,” said Soneva Chief Financial Officer and Deputy CEO, Bruce Bromley.

“Embracing solar power on such a significant scale has substantially reduced our carbon footprint and demonstrates what is possible in the hospitality industry. The invaluable support from Aareal Bank has paved the way for integrating our energy systems with other renewable technologies, propelling us closer to our goal of achieving fossil fuel-free operations.”

In December 2022, German-headquartered Aareal Bank provided the operator with US$10 million in funding to expand its development of solar power, which has seen Soneva Fushi’s solar installations total 2.55MWp (megawatt peak) of power and 2.7 MWh (megawatt hours) of battery capacity, while at Soneva Jani, the installations total 2.75 MWp of power and 2.0MWh of battery capacity.

Soneva is also exploring the potential of installing floating solar panels in the ocean surrounding its island resorts, and on land. The new Soneva Secret 2024 resort, located in the Maldives’ remote Haa Dhaalu Atoll, is implementing floating solar panels, which are expected to cover nearly 90% of the resort’s energy load. The resort also features an integrated ice storage system for air conditioning.

Soneva is also exploring rainwater harvesting and load shifting to maximise the utilisation of renewables.

“The financial sector plays a decisive role in the transition of the property sector toward a carbon-free future,” said Aareal Bank Managing Director and Head of Asia Pacific, Thomas Adaemmer.

“At Aareal Bank, we are embracing this responsibility. It gives us great satisfaction to witness our joint efforts bearing fruits and contributing to sustainable development on multiple fronts.”