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Results of Vermont high efficiency snow gun program

slatham

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The below is from the recent Peak Resorts quarterly report. Any other data or observations on the financial or snow (quantity/quality/timeliness) impact of last summers efforts in Vermont to replace old snow guns with new, high efficiency, low energy guns?

"Resort operating expenses were down primarily because of the 18.2 percent decline in power and utility expenses compared with fiscal 2014. Although our resorts used about the same amount of water for snow making this year, they used significantly fewer kilowatt hours of energy in the process. That largely reflected the benefit of the energy-saving snowguns installed last summer, including 645 snowmaking machines installed at Mount Snow for which 75 percent of the cost was covered by the state of Vermont."
 

slatham

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Mount Snow purchased 645 new low-e guns under this program last year, and retired 500 old guns. They moved to 100% high efficiency guns. The Vermont program covered a significant portion of the cost of the new guns. It would seem the forcasted savings was realized, at least for them.
 

drjeff

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Mount Snow purchased 645 new low-e guns under this program last year, and retired 500 old guns. They moved to 100% high efficiency guns. The Vermont program covered a significant portion of the cost of the new guns. It would seem the forcasted savings was realized, at least for them.


And it's not just about the cost savings either. I know from talking to many of the admins and mountain ops people at Mount Snow, and having skied on the product that the new low-e guns put out all last season, that they were very happy with the snow (both quality and quantity) that those guns were putting out! They (Mount Snow) are going to be doing some tweaking of the type of low-e guns they placed on certain trails (they bought guns from HKD, Ratnik and Snowlogic) last year based on real world results that they saw where certain types faired a bit better (generally from a snow dispersal standpoint across the trail) than others in certain locations with respect to trail width, predominate wind direction, location of the hyrdrants with respect to lifts, etc
 

BenedictGomez

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What did Mount Snow do with all the old ones? Did they have to give them to the state?

No. That would at least make some financial sense, because the state could sell them to smaller areas and at least monetize part of the program.

But Vermont cant do that, because, remember, it's all about combating "Global Warming", and the replaced guns were "evil", so the "evil" guns simply get destroyed.
 

mbedle

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Apparently the guns were scrapped and the money was given to the Vermont Ski Area Association's learn to ski and ride program. Also, I read that Jay Peak pays about 40K a year to fund the Efficiency Vermont program. So basically, they are using funds that they paid and will continue to pay into the program (albeit over a very long time).
 

VTKilarney

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What's absurd about this welfare program is that given the savings in energy costs, the resorts would have replaced the guns on their own. Maybe not as quickly, but it would have happened.
 

machski

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Apparently the guns were scrapped and the money was given to the Vermont Ski Area Association's learn to ski and ride program. Also, I read that Jay Peak pays about 40K a year to fund the Efficiency Vermont program. So basically, they are using funds that they paid and will continue to pay into the program (albeit over a very long time).

True, but this fund is paid into by ALL electric customers in the state (commercial and residential). That is true of almost every state and Maine has used its own efficiency fund to subsidize resorts updating their snow gun fleets. It just wasn't made as public as VT did.
 

SIKSKIER

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Not ski related but we had similar energy saving programs in NH as well.I replaced 2 500,000 btu boilers at my business at about a 50% savings many years ago.Nationally the same is done subsidizing solar.Enery saving subsidizing is pretty standard practice in many places.
 

WWF-VT

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Here's a link to addtional information on the program from Efficiency Vermont:

http://digital.vpr.net/post/snow-gun-exchange-expected-save-vermont-ski-resorts-millions

"Funding for the program comes from the surcharge utility customers in the state pay to support Efficiency Vermont. While some may balk at having to subsidize snowmaking upgrades for private ski resorts, Jim Merriam said the energy savings will benefit everyone, since we all share the same power grid. “So, at any point in time that we can bring down the overall system load, everyone benefits because we don’t need to build infrastructure either in the form of generating new electricity or more electricity or we don’t have to upgrade the equipment that’s there,” he said.

As to what happens to all those obsolete snow guns, Merriam says they’ll be collected and scrapped by Casella Waste Management and the proceeds donated to the Vermont Ski Areas Association’s Learn to Ski and Ride programs."
 

Newpylong

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That is really too bad. I know of at least one area that would love to get their hands on used tower guns as they cannot afford new. I am assuming 600+ new guns replaced all of the first gen towers they had and the K ground guns?
 

Scruffy

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I'm sure a lot of Vermonters who suck off the skiing teat don't mind a few tax $$s going to the industry. Hotel and restaurant owners - ski shops - carpenters, electricians, plumbers who build or maintain - road crews - etc.. Sometimes it's good for Gov to add some grease.
 

drjeff

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That is really too bad. I know of at least one area that would love to get their hands on used tower guns as they cannot afford new. I am assuming 600+ new guns replaced all of the first gen towers they had and the K ground guns?

It was a mix of 1st and 2nd generation tower and ground guns from some of the old k2000's and 3000's they had to some of the old big air/big water 30+ hole tower guns to even the old dual headed larchmont model that was mounted on the summit pump house.

Mount Snow's entire snowmaking arsenal now is either fanguns or low-e air/water towers/tripods
 

Highway Star

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Ehhhh....the new guns produce concrete / ice. Or Killington doesn't know how to use them.
 

Jully

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I absolutely loved the snow Wildcat put out using their new guns this season. Thought it was some of the best manmade snow I'd skied in recent memory. Don't know what guns K used though or they might have been putting down some cement base snow?
 

drjeff

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Ehhhh....the new guns produce concrete / ice. Or Killington doesn't know how to use them.

Probably a bit of both. What I found at Mount Snow was that all 3 brands they implemented ( Rantnik Baby Snow Giants - both tower and tripod mounted, HKD Impluse's - all tower mounted, and Snow Logic DV4's - both tower and tripod mounted) was that early on in the season, there was some variable snow being produced, especially out of the Ratnik's. The HKD's and Snow Logic's were much more consistent and pleasant to ski on both fresh out of the gun, as they were letting the whales drain prior to grooming and after groomed out. After the snowmakers had some hours and experience with how each gun performed at various temps they were close to the same in quality surface (I will admit that I was always a bit cautious about skiing through fresh product from the Ratnik's as one of them and the early season paste it was making lead to a double binding eject for me back in December :eek: ) Once they had the "learning curve" figured out, the consistency and quality were there
 
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