VAIL, Colo. – Oct. 30, 2013 – Thanks to the installation of new, highly-efficient snowmaking compressors at Vail and Beaver Creek, both resorts anticipate a combined energy savings of approximately 3.3 million kWh or the equivalent amount of energy used by more than 300 U.S. homes in one year compared to the previous snowmaking compressors.
The new compressors are an integral component to the snowmaking systems at Vail and Beaver Creek as compressed air is vital to the snowmaking process. At both resorts the new compressors will push air through underground snowmaking pipes to snowmaking locations across the mountains, where the air will then be used to propel water through the snow guns and into the atmosphere in order to make snow. A single new compressor at Vail will replace eight old compressors, and Beaver Creek’s new compressor will replace seven. In addition to making the snowmaking system more efficient, these modern compressors will build on providing the highest quality snow surfaces for skiers and snowboarders.
Vail, Beaver Creek and Holy Cross Energy worked closely together on this initiative, which contributed to the creation of a new rebate program for similar large, custom commercial energy reduction projects. The project and partnership truly shows Vail Resorts and Holy Cross’ commitment to increased efficiency and energy reduction. This joint project will help Holy Cross Energy achieve 10 percent of its five-year energy efficiency goal.
“The compressor replacements at Vail and Beaver Creek are a great example of how we can work together with our community partners as well as a significant step in Vail Resorts’ new companywide energy reduction goal, ‘The Next 10,’ which aims to cut our company’s energy usage by an additional 10 percent by 2020,” said Chris Jarnot, senior vice president and chief operating officer for Vail Mountain.
In late 2008, Vail Resorts set out to reduce its energy use by 10 percent and in early 2012, the company surpassed its target goal. Through a continuous focus on energy conservation, Vail Resorts was able to reduce its electricity and natural gas usage by 10.75 percent through more efficient operations. The Next 10 Percent energy reduction goal for 2020 includes efforts such as reassessing operational efficiencies, examining ways to improve snowmaking, increasing building automation, investing in free cooling and LED lighting upgrades, and implementing additional energy efficient technologies.
Beaver Creek’s new compressor is up and running for the resort’s snowmaking operations as weather permits, including snowmaking on Beaver Creek’s new signature ladies race course, Raptor. The course will field competition Nov. 29 through Dec. 1 and serve as the ladies speed course for the 2015 World Alpine Ski Championships. Beaver Creek opens for the season on Wednesday, Nov. 27.
Vail’s new compressor will be ready to turn on as early as Nov. 1 for snowmaking operations across the front side of the mountain in preparation for the public on opening day, Friday, Nov. 22.