Shawnee Peak, an active member of the NSAA Sustainable Slopes program, strives to be a leader in the ski industry with a focus on environmental stewardship and being a responsible citizen of Mother Earth. Each year, management identifies areas of investment with the dual goal of achieving savings from both a financial and consumption standpoint. Each of Shawnee's facilities and business units are constantly reviewed to ensure they are in compliance with standards.
SKI Magazine and the National Ski Areas Association (NSAA) honored Shawnee Peak with the 2015 Golden Eagle Awards for Environmental Excellence. The Golden Eagle Awards are the ski industry’s most prestigious honor for recognizing resort environmental programs and projects.
Modern & Efficient Snowmaking Plant
Snowmaking operations use the most energy on the mountain. Shawnee Peak’s snowmaking fleet consists of only high-efficiency snowguns that achieve compressed air savings of up to 75%. Several years ago, Shawnee Peak made the transition to run only on low-E tower and fan guns for snowmaking and each off-season we continue to add additional guns to our fleet. We believe we have one of, if not the most, energy-efficient on-hill infrastructure in the industry.
We have made significant investments in our snowmaking pump houses, transitioning from a system that generated 100% of its compressed air capacity from diesel compressors to a new compressed air plant that uses electric compressors for the majority of its capacity. The electric compressors were the first ones on the market and Shawnee Peak's fleet was the largest in the U.S. at a ski resort in 2013-2014. From an overall impact on the grid, the new system allows us to reduce the load (and subsequently avoiding local brown-outs) and run at a more efficient pace.
The new compressed air plant has reaped significant benefits to-date. Overall diesel consumption has declined 50%, the switch to electric has resulted in a reduction of 50% noise emissions and overall we achieved almost a 50% savings in C02. In addition, all snowmaking pumps are variable speed drives, allowing us to reduce consumption by up to 30%. They are all PLCs, which allows us to control start-ups and stops.
The Base Lodge Great Room features all-glass exterior walls, for incredible mountain views and to take advantage of solar energy. By spending more on glass walls (versus traditional building materials), Shawnee Peak will reduce the amount of heating fuel needed for the room. The base lodge is also heated by a propane furnace.
Our restrooms include waterless and low water usage toilets that have reduced annual water consumption by approximately 15,000 gallons of water. All bathrooms also include air dryers and motion sensors.
The recent East Lodge renovation included the installation of a 70-R rated roof and the installation of energy-efficient LED lighting. The majority of the project was completed using reclaimed/recycled wood and materials. Our ski school building had a recent second-floor addition via timber frame method, using reclaimed timber and sustainably harvested timber from our property. All installation was done via mortise and tenon joinery, using a local timber framer.
Other Green Initiatives
- Special parking for Hybrid and Electric vehicles. Drive and park in the front row!
- Utilized electronic record keeping, taking advantage of technology to eliminate paper usage.
- Shawnee Peak makes major annual donations to the Nature Conservancy and Loon Echo Land Trust