In addition to the portable compressors pictured in the previous blog entry, Okemo has a large snowmaking compressor that is a permanent fixture here. As part of Okemo's overall plan to reduce, reuse and recycle, we've just spent $30,000 to upgrade that compressor with an SCR catalytic converter so it will produce 95 percent fewer NOx emissions. Nitrogen oxides (NOx) include various nitrogen compounds like nitrogen dioxide (NO2) and nitric oxide (NO). These compounds play an important role in the atmospheric reactions that create harmful particulate matter, ground-level ozone (smog) and acid rain. Okemo's installation of a new SCR catalytic converter is going to help Okemo improve air quality while providing the same serious snowmaking power it is so famous for.
SCR, or selective catalytic reduction is a means of removing nitrogen oxides, often the most abundant and polluting component in exhaust gases, through a chemical reaction between the exhaust gases, a (reductant) additive, and a catalyst.
Last year, Okemo made news with its commitment to environmental stewardship through the purchase of renewable energy certificates - enough to offset 100 percent of the resort's annual use of electricity. In addition, Okemo owners Tim and Diane Mueller purchased enough kilowatt hours of wind-generated power to offset the electrical need of their other two resorts as well. That same commitment to the environment continues with the purchase of renewable enrgy certificates this year - and other aggressive programs like the one mentioned above.
“Protection of the environment is one of our core values. It is also very important to our guests,” says Tim Mueller. “We have the ability to demonstrate that Okemo, Mount Sunapee and Crested Butte are good community and corporate citizens working toward energy independence for America through clean, renewable sources like wind energy.”