Naked City

Green Mountain making hotels eco friendly

Austin-based Green Mountain Energy Company, which provides 600,000 customers nationwide with renewable electricity partially or completely derived from wind, solar, water, geothermal, or biomass sources, recently announced that it will provide two huge Dallas Hyatt hotels with 100% renewable energy for all of their electricity needs. The move makes the two Dallas Hyatts the nation's largest hospitality industry purchaser of renewable energy and one of only two Dallas commercial purchasers of 100% renewable electricity. With wind power now typically priced lower than natural gas-generated power, renewables are becoming an increasingly popular option for benefiting corporate bottom lines as well as the environment.

Hyatt Regency Dallas general manager Steve Vissotzky said, "our agreement with Green Mountain Energy not only makes economic sense, but it also complements our existing sustainable business practices." Green Mountain's president of commercial services, Scott Hart, added, "choosing renewable energy is one of the best and easiest ways for a business to demonstrate its commitment to preserving the environment."

By using green energy to satisfy each hotel's 1,416 megawatt-hour-per-month energy consumption, Green Mountain estimates that the 1,122-room Hyatt Regency Dallas and the 811-room Hyatt Regency DFW Airport will offset the annual air pollution of over 4,400 cars, or about 55 million vehicle miles.

Founded in 1997, Green Mountain has been operating in Texas since energy was deregulated in 2001, primarily serving customers in the Houston and Dallas areas. Spokesman Andy Prince said the company offers residential customers two electricity plans including renewable energy options, while offering commercial customers customizable energy products with varying renewable content and price. He said Green Mountain is also providing 100% renewable energy to Dallas' new W Hotel, scheduled to open in 2006. The W site is owned by Ross Perot Jr.'s Hillwood Properties, which recently contracted with Green Mountain to provide renewable power to all of its holdings. Prince added that Green Mountain also serves Dallas' Club Corp golf courses and 13 of its Houston-area golf courses.

In other renewable news, Houston's Direct Energy, which serves about 900,000 Texas customers, announced last week that it would join Green Mountain and Texas energy big boys Reliant Energy Inc. of Houston and Dallas-based TXU in offering renewable energy options. It will offer 100% and 50% wind-power-derived plans.

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KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Green Mountain Energy, renewable energy, Hyatt Regency Dallas, Steve Vissotzky, Scott Hart, Hyatt Regency DFW Airport, Andy Prince, W Hotel, Ross Perot Jr., Hillwood Properties, Club Corp, Carol Harwell, Austin Energy, Greenchoice Program, Direct Energy, Reliant Energy Inc., Dallas-based TXU, Direct Energy

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