With the installation of new, more energy efficient snowmaking compressors at Vail and Beaver Creek, both resorts anticipate a combined energy savings of about 3.3 million kWh per year.
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.
Vail, Beaver Creek and Holy Cross Energy worked together on this initiative, which contributed to the creation of a new rebate program for similar large, custom commercial energy reduction projects. 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 helps Vail Resorts’ new companywide energy reduction goal, which aims to cut the company’s energy usage by an additional 10 percent by 2020. 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.