Good practice

Ruka is monitoring ski-slope electricity use in real-time

Ruka is monitoring ski-slope electricity use in real-time
© anatoliy_gleb, #122659393, 2018, source: stock.adobe.com
Resources:
Energy
Sector:
Hotel and restaurant
Cost:
High cost
Resource savings: Energy:
Ruka's target is 7.5 % energy savings over the period 2017-2025; energy consumption of one winter season at Ruka is equivalent to about 300 households (120 m2) of four-person family households
Resource savings: Waste:
Instead of mixed waste, combustible waste is collected at Ruka and transported to Oulu in an eco-power plant where the energy from combustion is used to make electricity and district heating
Co2 emission reduction:
Since 2008 the greenhouse gas emissions of the ski resort have decreased by 80 %. Ruka became a carbon neutral ski resort in 2018
Size of company:
Large (more than 250)
Advancement in applying resource efficiency measures:
Intermediate

Looking for a smooth run toward energy saving

  • Accurate monitoring of energy consumption on ski slope informs efficiency drive
  • Everything from snowgun use to lighting is factored into the real-time monitoring

Ruka Ski Resort is well aware of its own energy consumption. Thanks to high-quality measuring equipment, the consumption of electricity, water and heat on the buildings and slopes, as well as the fuel consumption of the slope machines can be closely monitored 24 hours a day. A precise metering system helps the ski resort achieve its energy-saving goals. The target is 7.5 % energy savings over the period 2017-2025.

Over the years, the energy consumption at Ruka has been reduced using sometimes relatively easy and affordable measures. For example, the need for cannon sputtering has been reduced by snow blowers. Automated snow guns, among other things, react to weather conditions to optimise energy efficiency and water use during snow production. Ruka has also experimented with snow preservation over the summer. Snow preservation reduces the need for snowmaking during warm and humid conditions in the early part of the season.  

Annually, about half a million euros are spent on snow-making-related activities, but without these energy-saving measures, the energy bill would be tens of thousands of euros bigger.

The ski slopes have been switched to energy-saving LED lights and automation. Snowmobiles used by maintenance crews have been changed from four-stroke to four-stroke, which has reduced their fuel consumption by about half. 

These and other investments bring significant savings for years ahead. 

Key benefits

  • Snowmobiles used by slope maintenance crews have been changed from two-stroke to four-stroke, which has reduced their fuel consumption
  • Staff incentive and awareness programmes have reduced energy and fuel consumpton
  • Technologies that optimise the work of ski machines have been introduced
  • Automated snow guns, which react to weather conditions, have optimised energy efficiency and water use during snow production
  • Updating slope lighting to energy-saving LED lights and automation have brought savings
  • Since 2008, th resort's greenhouse gas emissions have decreased by 80 % (Ruka became a carbon-neutral ski resort in 2018)
Testimonials:

"Energy efficiency is not a separate project for us, but a part of the company's cost-effective business." -- Kari Jussi Aho, Chairman of the Board, Ruka Ski Resort and Pyhätunturi

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