Technology to meet the IMO’s decarbonisation ambitions in full may well be a long way off as things stand but Royal Caribbean Cruises has embarked on an alternative way to enhance its green credentials.
Last week RCL announced it has signed an agreement with Southern Power, a leading U.S. wholesale energy provider and subsidiary of Southern Company, for Southern Power's 200-megawatt (MW) Reading Wind Facility. This initiative, which will offset up to 12% of Royal Caribbean's emissions beginning in 2020, is the latest addition to the company's extensive sustainability efforts, which include programs to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through innovations at sea and in port.
This project is located in Osage and Lyon Counties, Kansas, and is Southern Power's first to be validated as a carbon offset project under the Verified Carbon Standard. The agreement with Royal Caribbean provides Southern Power with the economic basis to construct the project. Royal Caribbean was advised on the execution of this agreement by Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services.
"This agreement complements our longstanding strategic initiatives to reduce the company's emissions and become a more sustainable operator," said Richard D. Fain, Chairman and CEO, Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd. "We are constantly looking for new ways to reduce our environmental footprint, both in the short and long term, and thanks to our partnership with Southern Power this is the latest step in our journey."
The facility is expected to generate roughly 760,000 megawatt hours per year over the duration of the 12-year agreement, which translates to enough clean energy to offset 10-12% of Royal Caribbean's annual carbon emissions starting in 2020. With this innovative program, Royal Caribbean is able to apply a new approach while continuing its primary initiatives to advance sustainability efforts across the company's fleet.
"Southern Power is thrilled to partner with Royal Caribbean to provide the company with a carbon offset project that will further complement Royal Caribbean's expansive sustainability initiatives," said Southern Power President and CEO Mark Lantrip, who added, “We're proud to support Royal Caribbean's innovative approach toward advancing its sustainability through this project."