LUX* South Ari Atoll activates world’s largest floating solar system

World’s largest solar system floating at sea has been installed at LUX* South Ari Atoll in Maldives.

This unique technology called SolarSea gathers solar energy directly on the ocean to power the island in an eco-friendly fashion — a technological breakthrough that changes the perspective on renewable energy.

As part of the resort’s commitment to sustainability, LUX* South Ari Atoll has pledged to minimise carbon dioxide emissions.

To achieve this goal, the five-star luxury resort partnered with leading solar provider Swimsol, an Austrian-Maldivian company which provides a solution to overcome the limited space available for solar panels on small tropical islands. Consequently, Swimsol developed the first and only patented floating solar system that is designed to withstand the harsh conditions of the waves, storms and saltwater.

“Innovation is key to achieving true sustainability, and we are happy to partner with Swimsol to work towards our goal of minimising our ecological footprint. As one of the biggest resort islands in the Maldives, we aim to lead the way with eco-tourism and marine conservation work in our region as part of our commitment to good governance, social responsibility and respect for environmental standards,” Jonas Amstad, General Manager at LUX* South Ari Atoll, was quoted in a statement, as saying.

First batch of floating solar panels along with the rooftop solar system installed at LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

The resort is already using a rooftop system with the same solar company. Once all suitable roofs were covered with solar panels, the resort decided to expand beyond the shoreline with 12 SolarSea platforms. This increased the solar capacity by 40 per cent and reached 678 kWp — enough to power all guest villas with solar energy during the peak sun hours.

The result is cheaper energy and a saving of more than 260,000 litres of diesel per year that were previously used to produce the same amount of electricity with combustion engines.

Additionally, guests can follow a live “solar tracker” on their in-villas IPTV that will indicate the energy produced, diesel saved, as well as the equivalent of carbon dioxide emissions savings to offset the number of long-haul flights.

The floating solar panels at LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

The ocean benefits as well; the platforms provide shelter for juvenile fish and invertebrates, acting like fish-aggregating devices. To avoid any negative effects, the platforms float above the sandy seabed, avoiding the coral reefs. Free-swimming coral larvae can even use the platforms to grow into adult colonies, which can then be replanted on the ocean floor.

The combined rooftop and SolarSea system at LUX* South Ari Atoll is one of the largest solar installations in the country. Plans to further increase the solar capacity are already underway.

“Swimsol is the only company with this patented technology in the world right now and our goal is to enable every island to run purely on solar energy. It is a fantastic opportunity to work with LUX* South Ari Atoll to achieve this with their immense support and passionate enthusiasm in making a difference,” Hussain Simad, Managing Director at Swimsol Maldives, said.

The Swimsol team at LUX* South Ari Atoll. PHOTO/ LUX*

Following in the steps of its parent company, The Lux Collective, of which the purpose is to make each moment matter and to care about what matters, LUX* South Ari Atoll is committed to contributing in any way, big or small, to make eco-tourism a success in the Maldives.

Cutting-edge designer villas and world-class dining can be found only a 30-minute seaplane flight away from the main Velana International Airport, making LUX* South Ari Atoll one of the most exciting resorts in the Maldives.

With 193 private villas dotted at the water’s edge along four kilometres of powder fine beach or perched on stilts above a crystal clear lagoon, these spacious pavilions and villas bring an entirely original vibe of coastal, beach house chic to the Maldives.

Excellent eating and drinking is always a cut above the rest at LUX*, and at LUX* South Ari Atoll, there is authentic South East Asian street food in the Maldives’ only over-the-water gourmet night market and world-class Chinese cuisine at East, along with the Japanese restaurant Umami, which offers live teppanyaki and dazzling selection of sakés.

While the resort has a PADI-certified dive centre, two infinity pools, a floodlit tennis court, a fitness centre and a renowned spa which hosts a wellness concierge and a menu of indulgent treatments, what sets the property apart from its neighbours are surprises, or better known as #ReasonstogoLUX. Designed to create lasting memories for guests, these ‘reasons’ can range from island-roasted coffee in Café LUX* to impromptu movie screenings at cinema paradise and the chance to hang your wishes on the Tree of Wishes.

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