The Avan Marak Tsapatagh Hotel by Tufenkian Hospitality was established in a rural location close to Lake Sevan in the Gegharkunik region in 2002-2003. At that time, the hotel covered its main energy needs using grid electricity and diesel fuel. It also generated a minimal amount of energy using rooftop solar panels that were installed when the business was opened. For the owners, diesel was always the least desirable source of fuel due to the carbon footprint.
The hotel management decided to turn to alternative sources of energy and make use of new technologies. Professional advice and GEFF funding made it possible to build a photovoltaic power plant on the land owned by the hotel. The 500 kW ground-based bifacial PV plant, installed on 2.16 hectares of land next to the hotel premises, not only replaces the need for diesel fuel but also contributes to an annual reduction of 257 tonnes of CO2. In this way, the hotel serves as a role model for regional hospitality businesses and the community. The payback period of just six years makes a strong case for renewable energy investment projects in the region.
“Besides the financial benefit and the environmental advantages of the investment, the social aspect is also very important for us. The catering service used by the hotel mainly serves food and beverages produced locally, so the investment will also create monetary value for the locals during the low season, as these small businesses have no other major client in the region except for the hotel,” affirms Mr Albert Antonyan, the Finance Director.