Some New England cross country ski resorts are quickly becoming very sustainable. According to industry expert, Roger Lohr of XCSkiResorts.com, “There are about forty Nordic ski areas that employ snowmaking today and for more of the Nordic areas to invest, there is often the need for favorable financial and labor circumstances.” Below are a few examples of Nordic ski areas in New England that employ snowmaking and use sustainable practices.
The Great Glen Trails Outdoor Center in Gorham, NH upgraded an old micro-hydro system, supplying 80% of electric needs. They’ve also converted more vans that tour up to the top of Mt. Washington to run on propane gas and installed an electric vehicle charging station, too. The new Glen House (lodging facility on the property) is highly energy-efficient and nearly carbon neutral. A state-of-the-art geothermal system provides heating and cooling for the hotel.
Sleepy Hollow Inn Ski & Bike Center in Huntington, VT has now eight separate solar installations after adding new 4kW and 6kW systems for a total of 60kW, which is enough to provide 100% of electric needs at Sleepy Hollow including the efficient snowmaking operations for its two kilometer trail. The Sleepy Hollow property also powers their three family homes. A solar hot water system heats 50% of the hot water at the inn and the lights on the ski trail have been converted to LED lights.
Craftsbury Outdoor Center in VT is net metering with 32kW on solar tracker panels in the field and more panels on the roof, supplying the Activity Center with about 70kW. Between the two, that provides 63% of operation’s electricity and there is also solar thermal to provide summertime domestic hot water, which is supplemented with heat pumps.
The Craftsbury Activity Center is heavily insulated, uses a heat pump, and has composting toilets. They also cogenerate heat from the snowmaking generator and make snow in one location that is moved around to the trails as needed.