The custom-designed CHP system is housed in a new 8,700 square-foot building reinforced to withstand harsh winter conditions.
Powered by two Cat® G3520H and one G3512H gas generators, the cogen plant replaces a system installed in 1986 powered by three C399 gas gensets.
Snowbird's relationship with Caterpillar and Wheeler Machinery goes beyond the cogeneration facility.
Snowbird has attracted skiers from around the world for more than four decades.
With the new CHP facility, Snowbird will be able to generate its own power and recycle waste heat to warm buildings and water.
The 5.3 MW system also includes new switchgear, high-efficiency boilers, heat exchangers, pumps, control valves, and electronic controls for balance of plant components.
The 5.3 MW system also includes new switchgear, high-efficiency boilers, heat exchangers, pumps, control valves, and electronic controls for balance of plant components. The new Snowbird Power Systems facility will allow Snowbird to make its own power and then recycle the waste heat created from power production to warm its buildings and water rather than use new energy sources.
The new cogeneration plant replaces a 1.9 MW system installed in 1986 that was powered by three Cat G399 gas generator sets. Operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week, year-round, the generator sets logged 300,000 hours of service, far exceeding their expected operational lives of 120,000 hours.
“Caterpillar cogeneration technology supported by Wheeler Power Systems proved its value for Snowbird over the long haul, and we are poised to deliver the same superior level of performance with the new system,” said Bart Meyers, general manager in the Caterpillar Electric Power division.
The integrated system provides electricity for key operations at the resort, including the Aerial Tram and chairlifts. It also powers guest spaces throughout the resort, including the Cliff Lodge, the Inn, the Lodge at Snowbird, and Iron Blosam Lodge, as well as the Snowbird Center and Creekside Café & Grill. In all, it can supply up to 90 percent of the resort’s energy requirements during the busy winter season and up to 100 percent of its energy needs in the summer.
The cogeneration facility is the latest in a series of major sustainability initiatives undertaken by Snowbird, which include ridesharing, mine reclamation, native species revegetation, watershed rehabilitation, electric vehicle charging stations, energy-efficient bulbs, composting, heater upgrades, glass recycling, and planting trees for season passes sold.
“Here at Snowbird, we are committed to being responsible stewards of our outdoor spaces that bring us so much joy year-round,” said Snowbird president and general manager, Dave Fields. “Snowbird Power Systems allows us to save 62,000 dekatherms of natural gas a year—the equivalent of removing the carbon dioxide emissions from burning over 4 million pounds of coal.
“Replacing our original cogeneration facility with a new plant that leverages the expertise and technologies from Caterpillar is a part of that commitment,” Fields said. “This new cutting-edge system will not only enhance the safety and experience of our guests but also allow us to become more efficient with how we use energy at Snowbird.”