SkiStar is taking important steps to prepare for the future by entering into a partnership with EnergiEngagemang to create the conditions for important electrification by becoming its own solar electricity producer. The initiative is long-term and will involve a number of buildings and sites. One of the first buildings is Experium, the experience center in Sälen, which is estimated to have an annual production of solar electricity of more than 262,000 kWh.
As part of our sustainability strategy, we are looking at different options for energy production, and we have decided to start with solar panels. Says SkiStar’s sustainability manager Fanny Sjödin.
SkiStar is Scandinavia’s leading player in alpine mountain tourism with several facilities in both Sweden and Norway. With ambitious goals to preserve the Scandinavian white winters and the fantastic mountain environment the area possesses, concrete and clear actions are needed. Electrifying its operations is a big part of achieving its goal of halving its carbon footprint by 2030.
They are currently working hard to improve the energy efficiency of their properties, but also to create more efficient snow production and to gradually replace all lighting in the ski areas with LEDs. It has also been the first in Scandinavia to test and develop an electrically powered snow groomer and has introduced electric snowmobiles as of this winter season.
Already, the ski resorts are largely powered by renewable energy in the form of wind and hydropower, but the aim is now to take a greater grip on this by becoming their own electricity producer. With the help of the Energy Commitment, a number of photovoltaic installations will be established in suitable locations.
We have made a comprehensive analysis of SkiStar’s operations with their ambitious climate goals in mind and then developed a five-year plan and a solar vision where the plan is to accelerate the work with solar cells in different steps. We are starting in Sälen but will eventually move on to the Group’s other sites and are also talking about building solar parks on land. Says Jonas Almqvist, Head of Large Companies at EnergiEngagemang.
The commitment is long-term and a comprehensive location study will be carried out to create the best possible conditions for economically favorable solar cell establishment. As early as 2023, four properties will have rooftop photovoltaic installations. First up is Experium, the experience center in Sälen, whose solar cell system will produce just over 262,000 kWh/year, with a forecast of 99% self-consumption of the solar electricity produced.
There are prejudices that we who work in the mountains cannot produce solar electricity, and there are some months in the year when production is minimal, but already at the end of March we get really good figures because the snow on the ground creates reflections that have a positive effect. Says Fanny Sjödin.
The choice of Energy Engagement is not a coincidence. Stefan Andersson, project manager at SkiStar, says that they heard about EnergiEngagemang through a recommendation and were told that the company is easy to deal with.
We are specialists in our business, they are specialists in their field, and together we have been able to come up with a really good strategy. In general, they have shown both knowledge and transparency, and I feel that they have been interested in doing solid analysis instead of just trying to sell as much as possible.. Says Fanny Sjödin.
Another important aspect of the decision to invest in solar energy is that SkiStar’s facilities have gone from being open only in winter to having activities all year round. Expanding operations to include the summer enables greater self-use of the solar electricity produced, creating even better conditions for profitability.