Title

Renewable Energy Generation at Copper Mountain Resort

Date of Award

5-28-2008

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Advisor

John Hill

Keywords

biomass; copper; energy; mountain; renewable; solar; wind

Abstract

Copper Mountain, a Colorado ski area, evaluated onsite renewable energy generation to save on energy costs and reduce carbon emissions. Multiple resort locations were analyzed to determine suitable sites for implementation of solar electricity generation, wind electricity generation and biomass heat production. Potential project sites were assessed based on four criteria: costs and financial returns, environmental impacts, implementation and maintenance, and public relations/marketing opportunities. Solar projects had the lowest capital cost of the three types of renewable energy, and wind projects had high capital costs and low financial returns. Biomass projects had high capital costs, solid financial projections and good marketing value compared to wind and solar technologies. Project implementation recommendations were given based upon the evaluation.

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