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How green is your mountain?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
saw this in SFGate this morning.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/articl...sn=001&sc=1000

nice to see Squaw doing something right. Personally, I would never NOT ski a resort b/c of this stuff but glad that my home mountains (Alpine/Squaw) get good grades.

and sorry for posting this tripe but there's like no actual skiing to talk about in Tahoe right now.. Thought there was some kinda "skiing politics" forum here but I couldn't find it..

:

-MP
post #2 of 12
adverage resort but Jiminy Peak put in a wind tower to power its lifts ect
post #3 of 12
Reading through that, there is a bunch of hooey in all that. Ski areas can score 21% of their points by promoting themselves as green, making statements about being green, offering letters of support to green policies, and writing reports about how green they are. Funny how that makes the difference between Mt Baker with a "B" and Aspen with an "A"...despite the fact that Mt. Baker has no expansion plans, no real estate development, no snowmaking, and about the most limited grooming of any mountain.
Compare that to the extra points Aspen earns for burning 260,000 gallons of biodiesel in the vehicles alone.
post #4 of 12
I agree that the system is a total scham.

Take a look at Stevens Pass here in WA:

for the category "Updating Snowmaking equipment" Stevens got 3 of a possible 6 points.

However, if you read the defintion for the category:

Quote:
Replacement of old and/or energy inefficient snowmaking guns with automated systems, systems that minimize the use of compressed air, utilizing newer 3 stage centrifugal compressors and mounting guns on towers. 1-5% of facilities:1 point, 6-20% of facilities:2 points, 21-40%:3 points, 41-60%:4 points, 61-80%:5 points, 81-100%:6 points (Full credit for ski areas that do not have snowmaking.)
Stevens Pass currently has ZERO snow making, and are contemplating adding new snowmaking in their master plan, which should be considered "up to date" equipment, qualifying them for the best grade in this category.
post #5 of 12
Because Copper and Winter Park are looking to expand they loose like 20% of their points.


New terrain over there interpretation of being "green"
post #6 of 12
Environmental groups have been issuing report cards to exert political pressure on industry, government and ski areas for years. The criteria are prioritized to fit their agenda. Any ski area that is undergoing development and expansion is essentially going to fail. Kirkwood was rated at the very bottom of that list probably to protest the approval (finally after 7 years) of the Kirkwood Mountain Master Development Plan.

They were hammered for using diesel engines to produce electric power, but without utility lines into the area, there aren't viable alternatives. Two acres of proposed development land are claimed to be in wetland mountain meadow, but that doesn't take into account the 945 acres of preserve. Anyway, I doubt anyone really makes their plans around reports like this. If you do, thanks . More powder for me.:
post #7 of 12
Yeah, and read through copper's, which is rated worst. They get points taken off for proposing to develop .007 acre of wetland.
post #8 of 12
Kind of silly. Basically resorts which did their expansion awhile ago win, and new resorts can't expand. So if you want a good rating twenty years from now just do a massive expansion with twice as much terrain as you want, then "reclaim" half of it and you'll get like a bazillion points. Whereas a resort that responsibly and slowly expands will consistently look bad for it.
post #9 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Cirquerider View Post
They were hammered for using diesel engines to produce electric power, but without utility lines into the area, there aren't viable alternatives.
Did we run out of copper or aluminum? If they are doing this in places where there are developments like lifts or roads, the only excuse is being cheap.

FTA:
" The big surprise, she said, was the A grade for Squaw Valley, which recently scored D's for a variety of damaging practices, including the off-season filling and ripping out of streambed vegetation so that skiers would have no obstacles when swooping through the gullies during ski season."

Sounds like something Vail would do. Gaper city.

Harry Morgan's first post was all I needed to know this rating system is BS. WTF is the point of making marketing BS a quarter of the score?
post #10 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Garrett View Post
Did we run out of copper or aluminum? If they are doing this in places where there are developments like lifts or roads, the only excuse is being cheap.
Well, Kirkwood is nearly 40 miles from the nearest grid connection, with the only access being through National Forest lands and along a designated national scenic highway for many miles. That means environmental impact statements that have mandated any electric lines be buried underground and constructed in the Highway right-of-way. For a relatively small private ski area, the cost of excavating 40 miles of roadway and burying electric cable, transformers and other required cooling and insulating equipment for high voltage underground power transmission is incredible.

None-the-less, Diesel power at $3.00+/gallon is not cost effective and Kirkwood in recent years has indicated it is willing to finance the project, hopefully with some sharing from Alpine County, National Forest Service and other entities. Ironically environmentalists are opposed to the construction of the electric line because it will facilitate the build-out and development of Kirkwood. This Master Development Plan was finally just approved by the Forest Service this year in November after being in hearings since 1999. The environmentalist next best hope is to block the construction permits for the electric easement by holding up the process in environmental review as long as they can. In that respect, the use of diesel engines at Kirkwood is in large part because environmentalists force that to be the case.

Paradoxically, if the facility manages to tie into the grid, it will become one of the largest holders of greenhouse gas emission reduction credits (as well as NOx, PM, CO) of any ski area. And these will represent REAL reductions, not just tree planting.
post #11 of 12
Thanks for that. Very interesting...I had no idea the whole place was without power. I was thinking along the lines of places where one or two far-out lifts run on diesel. It must be expensive to run a whole hill on fuel...

edit: California, no? Couldn't they swing some huge tax credits on a few big 'ol fuel cells?
post #12 of 12
I think eventually fuel cell technology will mature to where that is a more attractive option. As it stands now, Kirkwood operates an on-demand load following power generating unit consisting of 3-D399 engines and 3 D3516s with huge daily and annual fluctuations from 3 to 11 megawatts. Fuel cells like steady state operations, are complicated and really expensive. You still have to buy hydrocarbon rich fuel to crack into hydrogen. I don't see it near term.

FWIW, the Kirkwood engines are equipped with brand new particulate traps as well as oxidizing and SCR NOx catalysts. They really operate as clean as is feasible for this technology, and probably better than any out of state coal fired power plant. There are large risks however in transporting and storing these quantities of diesel through and in sensitive areas. Leaks, spills and accidents are a big concern.
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