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Peppermill Casino Resort Goes Green With Geothermal Heating and More

24 September 2011 by Devon Chappell

green casino peppermillI don’t care if you think global warming is real or not. As far as we’re concerned over here at Online Casino Suite, efforts to improve the environment and live more sustainable lives are only for the better. In other words, what’s it going to hurt to be less wasteful and use resources more efficiently? If you really want to answer that question and think you can point out why it is a bad thing to be less wasteful and more efficient, then by all means, let’s step outside like real men and take it to the comments section.

That’s all we’re going to say on that, ’cause the rest of this post is all about Reno’s Peppermill Casino is going green. Recently becoming the first and only property in the United States (and a casino resort at that) to receive 100% of it’s heating via geothermal energy produced on-site, Peppermill Casino certainly deserves some free press for their environmental efforts. Not only that, Peppermill has retrofitted all of their resort lighting with energy saving LED lights, transitioned their HR department to become virtually paperless, implemented a greywater recycling system, purchased a cadre of electric powered maintenance vehicles and replaced water-thirsty grass on the resort grounds with artificial turf in their quest to save resources and go green.

Watch the video below to see just how huge this project is, not to mention how beautiful the Peppermill Casino Resort is:

For anyone unfamiliar with geothermal heating, it refers to the natural heat energy that can be found in pockets, called “geothermal systems”, that are found shallow enough in the Earth’s core to naturally bring hot water and steam to the earth’s surface, as is the case with the famous Yellowstone Forest geysers. For those geothermal systems that have not broken through to the surface, they can be reached by drilling. Once tapped, the hot steam and water is pumped under high pressure to the surface, and then used to power turbines for generating electricity.

All things said, the only emissions from geothermal energy production in the atmosphere is steam. Only one-sixth the amount of carbon dioxide produced by relatively clean natural gas power plants is produced by geothermal fields, while virtually no nitrous oxide or sulfur bearing gases are emitted. Furthermore, due to the constant heat production from the earth’s core, geothermal energy has availability of 90% or higher, compared to 75% for coal plants.

While the building of geothermal systems can be expensive (Peppermill spent nearly $10 million), the long-term savings are phenomenal – especially in colder locations. Considering that Peppermill is framed by the Sierra Mountains and operates a ski resort, it’s a given their monthly heating bill dwarfs other commercial resorts and casinos. According to the EPA, commercial buildings can save up to 70% in heating costs, 50% in cooling costs, require a fraction of the maintenance of other heating systems, are highly reliable and built to last for decades.

Obviously, the owners of Peppermill Casino have a lot of faith in geothermal energy, and in true Nevada form, were willing to put a huge gamble on it. The fact that the drill hole was deeper than average (over 4,400 feet) and that there wasn’t even a guarantee the drilling would produce a usable geothermal resource, goes to show that the odds are always in favor of the casino!

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