For our planet

Sustainable initiatives at Bergbahnen See

Committed to the environment
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The cable cars of See contribute to environmental protection

Sustainable activities

We care about the environment. That’s why in times of climate change it’s important for us to foster a responsible handling of natural resources. After all, it’s no secret that the operation of cable cars and snow-making systems comes with high energy requirements.

The cable cars of See take responsibility for our environment – and that’s why we generate our own green electricity. Consequently, it’s no surprise that See ski resort was awarded first place in the category of “Environmentally friendly ski resorts” by in 2015. 

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How we do it

Power generation at Bergbahnen See

Interesting facts and figures

The snow-making system of the cable cars of See generates green electricity whenever it’s not in use. At the end of the day, this results in four times more electricity than would be required to run the snow-making system.

Bergbahnen See Ges.m.b.H. opted for a snow-making system that can simultaneously be used for energy generation. Since mid-December 2009, this system has been in use. Whenever the available water is not needed for snow-making, energy is generated from hydropower.

The system is based around three powerhouses and three water catchment areas. The water from the two higher-located buildings is collected at the newly constructed pumping station at the valley station of Zeinisbahn cable car. If artificial snow-making is needed, water distribution to the individual snow guns is done via four high-pressure pumps.

The “Oberstufe” powerhouse has a dual function. From the newly constructed water catchment area, the collected water can be transported to the pumping station via two high-pressure pumps. From there, it is transported to the snow-making facilities of the ski resort. However, during power plant operation, the water from the two water catchment areas Schallerbach and Istalanzbach is used to generate electric energy at “Oberstufe” powerhouse.

The processed and non-pressurised water is brought together with the collected water from the Istalanzbach 2 catchment area in a chamber below “Oberstufe” powerhouse. Once it has been transported to “Unterstufe” powerhouse, it is once again converted to electric energy.

In addition, “Unterstufe” powerhouse features a 160-kilowatt air compressor, which generates pressurised air for the snow guns. Depending on the current operation mode, the pipes between the pumping station and “Unterstufe” powerhouse are used as power station pipes or snow-making pipes for the valley run. The 67 snow-making spots along the valley run can largely be operated with inherent pressure.

The entire system consists of the following individual components:

  • 3 powerhouses
    • pumping station at 6-EUB-Medrigjoch cable car with 4 high-pressure pumps and a total pump capacity of 1,100 kW
    • “Oberstufe” powerhouse with 2 high-pressure pumps (pump capacity of 400 kW) and a water-power plant with max. 400 kW
    • “Unterstufe“ powerhouse with a compressor station (160 kW) and a water-power plant with max. 2,000 kW
  • 3 water catchment areas with desanders
    • Schaller water catchment area (1,940 metres above sea level)
    • Istalanz 1 water catchment area (1,965 metres above sea level)
    • Istalanz 2 water catchment area (1,661 metres above sea level)
  • 11,700-m pressure pipeline (old supply pipes for Schaller and Istalanz 1)
  • 6,000 m PVC cables (drainage, cable conduits)
  • 2,500 m PE cables (compressed air)
  • 25,000 m underground cables

The energy consumption of the cable cars of See amounts to the following:

  • Electricity: 1.5 GWh for all cable cars and snow-making facilities
  • Liquefied gas: 2,000 L for heating and cooking at the restaurants
  • Diesel oil: 100,000 L for slope grooming
  • Fuel oil: 5,000 L for the heating at Gratli restaurant

In total, this amounts to an annual energy consumption of around 230,000 litres of fuel oil and emissions of around 550 tons of CO2 per year. In turn, eleven gigawatt hours of electricity are generated every year with the help of our hydropower stations. This roughly amounts to an energy value of 910,000 litres of fuel oil and 2,200 tons of CO2. If you subtract the annual energy consumption from this amount, you get a positive balance of 680,000 litres of fuel oil.

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Great savings

Greenhouse gases produced by Bergbahnen See

In tune with nature

At Bergbahnen See, we also keep a close eye on the greenhouse gases produced at our ski resort. During hydroelectric energy generation, no carbon dioxide is produced. Thus, the cable cars of See are responsible for a reduction of around 1,650 tons of CO2 while at the same time offering guests excellent slope conditions also in times of little natural snowfall.

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