Going Winter Green

Dec 6, 2013

Retrieved from Springwater News - Nov 21, 2013 - Edition 404

 

     Plain and simple, if the expectation is to have great snow conditions on the hill, there is no inexpensive way to run a ski hill operation in central Ontario given the uncertainty of the weather. Snowmaking is a must and with that comes the need for pumps and generators and all kinds of electricity mongering equipment. It's typically also and 18-24hr operation in early season to make the snow and then ongoing to groom the hills which means the supporting maintenance buildings seem to go non-stop for several months of the year. All of this keeps the hydro meters turning at a heightened pace this is something Mt. St. Louis Moonstone is trying to change. Starting with their groomer maintenance shop, a new initiative has been implemented to use energy saving technology to lower consumption and lessen their carbon footprint. The first step was the installation of the 40 new induction technology highbay light fixtures in their groomer maintenance building which replaced older, very inefficient, old technology HID lights (metal halide, high pressure sodium, mercury vapor). Several exterior wallpack lights running metal halide bulbs have also been replaced with induction technology to provide safety and security around the building perimeter.

 

     Andre Huter is the operation Manager at Mt. St. Louis Moonstone, he is pleased with the first phase of the lighting upgrades stating, “the shop used to be pretty dull and dingy which made it a tough spot to work for the guys, but with the new lights, it’s so much brighter with a cleaner looking light; it really is a better place to work in and the guys have all commented on it.” The lighting upgrade didn’t just provide better light, the induction technology is estimated to be up to 60% more efficient which will save the skiing operation many thousands of dollars in hydro each year. The shop upgrade is estimated to save the ski hill over $60k over the next 10 years at today’s electricity rates. Huter added, “I dealt with a local company, Go Time Solutions” who worked with us to find the best options for the long haul. The induction lights come with a 10 year warranty and are rated for a 100,000 hr lifespan. Our crews are busy so removing those lighting maintenance issues and costs was a big part of our decision making. The lights will pay for themselves and we aren’t changing bulbs and ballasts that used to end up in the landfill.”

     Having long been known for offering a premium grade level of skiing, with great snow, well groomed terrain and quick lifts, several changes and updates are planned for the ski hill and chalet building over the next couple years. Brother to Andre, Robert Huter is General Manager, commenting on the future of the resort. “My parents built a fantastic facility and have offered great skiing for many years. Looking ahead as we continue that legacy, it’s important for us to research and plan with the best available technology to ensure our growth is as efficient and successful as we can make it. We all know hydro rates will not be coming down and that larger increases seem to be inevitable, especially in Ontario. Energy savings is a big part of our focus when it comes to making sure we are making smart decisions that will ultimately pay for themselves. The induction lighting fits very well with that focus”.

 

     As the winter comes forward the green approach is high on the radar for Mt. St. Louis. They took advantage of the power utility and government energy savings rebate programs which will net them a sizeable refund for this project on top of the monthly savings to the electricity bills thanks to the efficiency of the lighting. With several other utility buildings, a full chalet, administration areas and other outside parking and access areas, lighting is a major part of the monthly operation costs at Mt. St. Louis. Given the savings, it is clear the bright ideas to use induction lighting was worth the investment. For more info on Mt. St. Louis Moonstone visit www.mountstlouis.com and for energy savings and rebate info on induction lighting info visit; www.thinkgreensolutions.ca.

 



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