A few weeks back we announced the news that, thanks to a $300,000 grant from Efficiency Maine, Sugarloaf will be investing a total of $1 million in new high efficiency snow guns this summer (we actually just officially placed the order today).
The $1 million will be used to purchase 300 SV10 Impulse guns from HKD. For those unfamiliar with the company, Snow Economics Inc. / HKD Snowmakers has been designing and manufacturing snowmaking equipment for over 20 years, and is the world leader in energy efficient snowmaking technology. The SV10 guns we’ll be purchasing each use as much as 90% less compressed air than older model snowguns. Compressed air is the biggest user of energy in the entire snowmaking process.
This is a big deal on a few levels. First and foremost for you, it means more reliable snow, particularly early in the season. In the past, when temperatures were marginal (in the 22-28 degree range), air was always the limiting factor in our operation. Even though we might have had more water we could have pumped up the hill, we couldn’t use it unless we installed additional air compressors and consumed much more energy. With this new technology using 90% less air, the air is no longer the limiting factor, meaning we will be able to maximize our water pumping capacity nearly 100 percent of the time.
Second, the commitment from Efficiency Maine to this project shows that it will be significant in reducing the resort’s overall energy consumption, which ultimately means a smaller environmental footprint. It also means we save a significant amount of money on energy. Both of these things are huge steps toward our goal of making the resort more sustainable, both environmentally and economically.
Here’s a quick video of what the new guns will look like when they’re in operation next season:
Elsewhere around the resort, we’ve already been busy with upgrades to the Base Lodge, the biggest of which is some new bathrooms.
It’s no secret that the King Pine Room bathrooms have been running on borrowed time for a number of years now, and if you used them in the past, you probably wish you hadn’t. Well friends, that era is over. Say hello to your new King Pine Room bathrooms:
This is just the start of what will prove to be a busy summer for us here, and we’ll have lots of news to share in the coming months, so stay tuned!