Royal Caribbean Group to open first zero-energy cruise terminal

The facility in Galveston will generate 100 per cent of its energy through onsite solar panels

Royal Caribbean Group to open first zero-energy cruise terminal

Royal Caribbean Group

The $125 million terminal will rely on 30,000 square feet of solar panels for its energy needs

By Alex Smith |

The new Royal Caribbean Group cruise terminal in Galveston, USA, will generate 100 per cent of its required energy through onsite solar panels when it opens on 9 November.

The $125 million terminal will rely on 30,000 square feet of solar panels, with any remaining energy not used by the facility sent to the local power grid. It will significantly expand the cruise line’s capacity in the port, allowing it to welcome up to 630,000 guests per year.

"We are focused on innovating across all aspects of our company, especially in our work to advance sustainability in the communities we visit," said Jason Liberty, president and CEO of Royal Caribbean Group. "We deeply value both the oceans we sail and the communities we visit and operate in, and the modern design and development features at our terminal in Galveston will work in service of both."

The new facility will be the first cruise terminal in Texas to achieve LEED Gold certification, which is expected to be received within the first half of 2023. It will also be Royal Caribbean Group’s first Gold-certified terminal, as well as its fourth to receive any certification from LEED.

Royal Caribbean Group utilised design strategies that aligned with its environmental goals in developing the new terminal. The company targeted improving sustainability in construction by prioritising materials that produced minimal carbon dioxide, diverting 75 per cent of its waste from landfill, and minimising interior sources of pollution through the installation of materials with low or zero volatile organic compounds and enhanced air filtration media.

The group also aimed to deliver regional and global environmental benefits by selecting materials that will help reduce the ‘heat island effect’ in the Galveston area, which experiences higher temperatures than outlying areas due to an overstimulated energy grid. It has implemented strategies to reduce exterior lighting pollution, as well as offering bicycle facilities and electric vehicle charging stations.

The opening of the terminal on 9 November will mark the first time that one of Royal Caribbean International’s Oasis-class ships has visited Galveston, with the arrival of Allure of the Seas set to mark the occasion.

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