KILLINGTON, Vt. (August 20, 2014) – Ahead of the Winter 2014-15 season, Killington Resort, the largest ski and snowboard destination in Eastern North America, is investing in nearly 400 new energy-efficient snow guns as a part of Efficiency Vermont’s Great Snow Gun Roundup. Home to the longest season in the East which often spans from October to May, Killington Resort relies on snowmaking to provide a consistently reliable snow surface. This latest investment of snow guns is valued at over $2 million, with additional $91,000 in installation costs.
Last summer, Killington invested nearly $250,000 in its snowmaking system, including new hydrants, new pipes, system maintenance and rebuilding of pumps.
Efficiency Vermont’s Great Snow Gun Roundup requires that for every five energy-efficient snow guns purchased, four less efficient snow guns be scrapped. Killington will retire 317 snow guns in a variety of styles and will add 396 new guns to its fleet in five models including 159 Snow Logic sled-mounted mobile guns, 144 Snow Logic tower guns, 50 Ratnik Baby Snow Giant 2 tripod guns, 36 TechnoAlpin Evo guns and 7 Ratnik Baby Snow Giant 2 fixed towers.
Killington currently has 600 fixed tower locations, and will add 150 new tower bases for these more efficient snow guns, most notably along the lower section of the popular trail Ovation. Mounting guns on towers allows for more “hang time” in snowmaking, adding to efficiency and output while reducing noise for skiers and providing a more authentic snowfall experience.
“We are building an arsenal with the ideal balance of portability and flexibility for all conditions,” says Dave Lacombe, snow surfaces manager for Killington Resort. “Modern, energy-efficient snow guns require up to 85% less energy to operate than older snow gun models, and the new snow guns being installed this year represent the most advanced, energy-efficient technology available,” adds Lacombe.
One standard diesel-powered air compressor used for snowmaking produces 1600 cubic feet of air per minute (CFM). Older snow guns use 600 CFM while new energy-efficient guns use 8-26 CFM, allowing for far more snow guns to be powered by a single compressor. To further improve sustainability this winter, all Killington diesel compressors will have Tier 4 engines, for which the resort will install a $60,000 injection system. The end result is cleaner burning fuel and increased energy efficiency overall.
Killington projects direct savings for the coming season from the new snow guns totaling 1,453,000 kilowatt-hours of electricity, 84,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 3,452,000 pounds of carbon emissions and roughly $470,000. If efficiency and systems function as projected, Killington could see a full return on this investment in about a year and a half.
Statewide, Efficiency Vermont’s Great Snow Gun Roundup supports the purchase of approximately 2,300 new low energy snow guns for the upcoming season. In return the participating resorts will donate 1,800 older model snow guns to scrap, with proceeds donated to Ski Vermont’s Learn to Turn program.
About Killington Resort
Killington Resort is a four-season destination that sits on 3,000 acres in the heart of the Green Mountains in Central Vermont. The Resort boasts more than 73 miles of diverse snow sports terrain spread out over six peaks and offers the most expansive lift network and snowmaking system in the East. After the snow melts, Killington features an 18-hole championship golf course as well as 35 miles of mountain biking trails and 15 miles of hiking trails. In addition, the numerous après, dining, shopping and lodging options have made Killington a world-class destination for East Coast skiers and riders for over 50 years. Killington.com