Mit der Kraft der Sonne gewinnt man Strom.  | © Edith Danzer
The Glacier.

Generating clean solar energy with PV panels

The ingredients for a perfect ski day are: great slopes, top snow quality and electricity. For without electricity, a ski resort's complex system cannot operate. The Kitzsteinhorn has been using 100% green power for years. And part of it is generated by company-owned photovoltaic systems.

FACT: The Kitzsteinhorn is ISO-50001-certified, proving the company demonstrates an effective energy management system. Cable cars, ski lifts and restaurants are powered by green electricity. The Kitzsteinhorn is one of the first alpine ski resorts to operate a pumped storage hydropower plant. In winter, it pumps water to the snow-making systems. In summer, melting snow powers turbines for energy production. Waste heat of cable cars' high-performance engines is recovered and used to heat facilities.

We generate around 40,000 kWh of electricity with our PV panels at the moment.

Guenther Brennsteiner, authorized representative

On the sunny side

The sun shines in the cloudless sky on this bright summer's day. "Ideal conditions … for hiking on the Maiskogel, for biking, for a day trip to the Kitzsteinhorn. But also for producing our own electricity", Guenther beams while standing on the roof of the Kaprun Center.

The modern construction is not only the headquarters of the Gletscherbahnen Kaprun Inc. but also the valley station of the MK Maiskogelbahn, sports shop, ski depot, cash register building and access point to the 3K K-onnection. "We installed PV panels on the roof of the Kaprun Center during construction in 2018. There are also modules on the facades of the 3K K-onnection and Gletscherjet 3+4 middle station buildings. The Kaprun Center is also heated by geothermal heat."

Using solar energy to produce electricity

We go onto the roof of the Kaprun Center and find ourselves amid PV panels. Ernst Streitberger, residential electrician, accompanies us. He is responsible for maintaining the PV systems: "In summer, we use the electricity generated by these panels to power the Kaprun Center – for heating, light and offices. The excess energy we generate goes back to the Salzburg AG grid."

Günther Brennsteiner checkt die Stromproduktion. | © Edith Danzer ©Edith Danzer
Guenther Brennsteiner checks the PV system. 

Let the sun in

That's the motto the Kitzsteinhorn follows when it comes to further expanding its self-generation of renewable energy from sun. "We currently self-produce 1.5 million kWh of renewable energy per year with our Grubbach hydropower plant, the waste heat energy recovered from engines and our PV systems. That equals the energy demand of around 500 households. Over the next five years, we strive to expand our self-generation of renewable energy to over 2 million kWh. Our alpine coaster Maisi Flitzer at the MK Maiskogelbahn valley station, for instance, will run on self-generated energy from our PV systems."