Squaw Valley Resort

Hosts first ever carbon neutral skiing event in the USA

Squaw Valley Ski Resort is a mountain resort that includes 6,000 skiable acres in North Lake Tahoe, California, held the 1960 Winter Olympic Games, and was voted 2016 ‘Best Ski Resort’ by USA Today. Committed to extraordinary guest experiences and environmental stewardship, Squaw Valley looked to Carbon Lighthouse to reduce their carbon footprint.

Through a combination of Carbon Lighthouse’s energy efficiency measures and an included purchase of carbon allowances to offset the remainder of the Olympic Village Lodge’s footprint, Squaw Valley Resort became carbon neutral for 5 years and hosted the first ever carbon neutral skiing event in the USA.

Mountain ski resort

Zero Project Investment

$84,000 Annual Savings

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Our service with Squaw Valley included three separate large energy systems. Energy efficiency measures in the High Camp Pool and Spa system resulted in a 30% reduction in energy use. Measures in the Olympic Village Lodge Boiler system reduced energy use by 9%. Finally, a resort-wide lighting analysis led to a 65% reduction in that system’s energy use.

In total, partnership with Carbon Lighthouse resulted in $84,000 of annual savings and 890 tons of reduced carbon emissions per year. The reduced carbon emissions are equal to taking 188 passenger vehicles off the road, every year, for 15 years.

The Nuts & Bolts: Our Process

Our team focused on implementing energy and operational efficiency measures in three different systems of energy use within Squaw Valley Resort.

Source: CC Ray Bouknight

Through deep data analysis of heating for High Camp’s Pool and Spa, the Carbon Lighthouse team identified two main components to implement alongside the onsite engineering staff. Installing automatic temperature controls and Variable Frequency Drives that linked to the new Building Management System (BMS) saved resort staff at least 2 hours per day and allowed for reduced pumping rates. In addition, a safe overwintering system led to a large reduction in the amount of energy used throughout winter.

At Squaw Valley and Alpine Meadows, our team conducted a mountain-wide lighting retrofit of about 1500 lights with bulbs and ballasts. This reduced lighting energy by 65% across the resort.


For heating in the Olympic Village Lodge, Carbon Lighthouse engineers implemented a scheduling and controls measure to ensure that the boiler was properly operating during shoulder seasons.

ClientSquaw Valley
ProjectSquaw Valley Resort

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Special Feature

Carbon Lighthouse is proud to be a recipient of the Frost & Sullivan Technology Innovation Award for 2019.Read more