Eco-Initiatives from MWV Ski Resorts
Marti Mayne, 207-846-6331;
Valley ski RESORTS "go green" to help keep slopes white
(Mt. Washington Valley, NH) - Some of Mt. Washington Valley ski resorts are leading the way in environmental stewardship. Resorts including Cranmore Mountain, Jackson XC and Shawnee Peak have put into place programs an initiatives aimed at reducing their resort's carbon footprints. From Biodiesel to wind power, here are some highlights of what's happening in the realm of green initiatives.
CRANMORE MOUNTAIN RESORT
Cranmore Mountain Resort made headlines in 2003 when it became the first ski area east of the Mississippi to run its grooming equipment and other diesel vehicles on the biodiesel. Cranmore switched to biodiesel (B20) to operate their four groomers in 2003. The resort uses more than 20,000 gallons of 20% biodiesel fuel each year, which results in a 4,000-gallon reduction in conventional fossil fuel diesel used. Cranmore has also invested in a 4,000-gallon above ground, non-heated biodiesel storage tank with collaborative help from the New Hampshire Department of Environmental Services (DES) and the Granite State Clean Cities Coalition (GSCCC). In addition, the Cranmore provides biodiesel for the Village Trolley - the local shuttle bus company that runs to and from Cranmore and area hotels and motels.
Biodiesel Days: Cranmore will host two Biodiesel Days during the 2007-2008 season (Saturday, Jan., 12 and Saturday, March 22). On Biodiesel Days, drivers of hybrid vehicles will receive a free lift ticket for the day as well as free VIP parking in the premier lot. Drivers are required to present an auto registration for their hybrid vehicle to receive the free ticket.
No-idle Policy: Additionally, Cranmore instituted an anti-idling program for both staff and guests, creating "Clean Air Zones" around the resort. Motor vehicles are the leading source of air pollution in New Hampshire and one of the primary contributors of greenhouse gas emissions. In an effort to preserve the natural environment and protect the well being of all, Cranmore has adopted an Engine Idling Reduction program.
At the Jackson XC center in Jackson Village, a new half-million dollar system will allow groomers to smooth out snow on trials allowing for more efficient use of natural snowfall and potentially expanding the length of the center's ski season. The organization states that the smoothing technique is the greenest and most economical means to provide quality skiing in the unpredictable early season time period. Additionally, the Jackson XC has an anti-idling policy for both trucks and grooming vehicles.
New grooming machines reduce the amount of overall fuel usage while increasing grooming efficiency. The newer equipment has also allowed a reduction in the center's big machine grooming fleet from 3 machines to Jackson XC's efficient maintenance garage is fully insulated and heated only when needed resulting in greatly reduced energy use. Also, the pre-heaters on grooming vehicles are on timers so that they reduce the power consumed to get the machines up to temp prior to the crew coming on for the night's grooming.
SHAWNEE PEAK SKI AREA
Located adjacent to New Hampshire's Mt. Washingotn Valley, Shawnee Peak (Bridgeton, ME) recently announced a plan to offset 100% of the carbon emissions produced by the mountain's operations. A combination of wind power, carbon sequestration, recycling and other conservation purchases and policies will allow Shawnee Peak to offset more than 1,800 tons of carbon emissions each year.
To offset nearly 900 tons of the total carbon dioxide emisions, Shawnee Peak will make a donation to the Conservation Fund's "Go Zero" program - an effort to plant native trees to address climate change, protect wildlife habitat and enhance America's public recreation areas. Native trees and forests help fight climate change as part of a natural process called photosynthesis. As they grow, trees absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and convert it into oxygen. The resort will make an additional donation of trees to Maine Land Trust organizations, for the purpose of erosion control and regenerating forests on protected public lands. Over its lifetime, each tree will transform a yearly average of 1.3 tons of carbon emissions to oxygen.
100% Wind Power: Shawnee Peak will offset 100% of the fossil fuels the mountain uses for snowmaking, heat and lights with wind power from New Wind Energy. New Wind Energy will use Shawnee Peak's contribution to maintain existing wind farms and add new power to the national electric grid network.
Snowmaking: A major capital expense, Shawnee Peak's new snowmaking pump delivery system is the ultimate energy-saver. While increasing uphill water capacity by as much as 40%, the 400-HP pump will actually save energy through automatic pressure controls, start/stop sequencing, programmable logic controllers and variable speed technology. In other words, the pump runs itself in the most efficient manner, depending on weather conditions and snow requirements.
Recycling, Energy Conservation, Environmental Stewardship: Through several company-wide policies, Shawnee Peak hopes to shave at least 10% from its total energy consumption and solid waste. These efforts include:
- 6 new high-heat hand dryers (saves energy and reduces the need for paper),
- "No-idle" policy for all company vehicles,
- Reduction in lift operation hours to curb energy-use during slow traffic periods. (Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday, lifts will open at 9:30 a.m. instead of 9 a.m. Tuesday nights, Shawnee Peak will close at 8 p.m.),
- 100% flourescent light bulb usage.
To learn more about skiing in Mt. Washington Valley, visit http://www.skimwv.com/. To plan your winter getaway to Mt. Washington Valley visit http://www.mtwashingtonvalley.org/ or call 1-800-367-3364.
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