Although new ski lifts are ever more energy efficient, with an increasing proportion running, at least partially, on renewable energy, often generating power through solar panels built in to their structures and increasingly exporting the heat generated by their motors to warm nearby buildings, there remains the question of the energy required for the new lifts’ production in the first place.
Lift-manufacturer Garaventa, part of the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group, the world’s largest ropeway manufacturer, has had over 2,000 solar panels installed on its roof of its subsidiary at Goldau in Switzerland, creating an array that can meet more than a third of its annual energy requirements.
The new facility of 2,122 panels covers an area of 5,400 square metres and has been created by Solarenergie Arth AG with whom Garaventa have entered a 25-year supply agreement.
The array will generate 620,000 kWh of electricity each year of which Garaventa itself will use some 420,000 kWh which represents 35% of its annual energy requirements.
The new solar array is part of a wide range of initiatives the Doppelmayr/Garaventa Group say they have in place at all their international sites with the aim of leaving behind a minimal carbon footprint.
“Other sites such as Gassner Stahlbau in Bürs (Austria), the new LTW building and the Doppelmayr site in Wolfurt (Austria) will also soon be equipped with photovoltaic installations to produce renewable energy,” said István Szalai, Executive Director of Doppelmayr Holding SE.