We love this mountain and this Earth, and we're doing our very best to take care of them both. Read on for a brief history of recent improvements as we aim to stay Green.
Base Lodge Upgrades. This year we made many energy efficient upgrades throughout the base lodge, big and small. We switched to all LED lighting, replaced insulation where needed, and made some much-needed improvements to our HVAC system, including the installation of new HE rated electric heat pumps in the Wild Boar Tavern. We can now both heat or cool the tavern while consuming significantly less oil. We’re particularly excited about the opportunities this opens up in the warmer months – AC in the Wild Boar means that space can be available to comfortably host larger functions during the summer. (Who wants to party?!) The heat pumps were subsidized by Green Mountain Power and Efficiency Vermont.
Snowmaking Improvements. On the mountain: our crew continued the snow gun nozzle replacement project. Across the street: the Primary Pump House rebuild included four new 400hp high-efficiency electric motors - two with a Variable Frequency Drive (VFD) motors. The VFD motors allow us to adjust the snowmaking system to the specific Bromley power needs by the day, by the hour – you name it - maximizing our snowmaking efforts while reducing energy waste.
We're excited to share the news - Bromley Mountain is the proud recipient of Efficiency Vermont’s 2017 Energy Leadership Award. Why? Commitment to change, that’s why! Bromley received the award for adopting nearly every energy efficiency technology in snowmaking, including this year’s enhancements mentioned above. Bromley has completed 27 energy-efficiency projects in collaboration with Efficiency Vermont since 2000. Check out the official press release!
Mountain Operations. We added 10 new Snow Gun Technology high efficiency Sledgehammer snow guns to replace older, less efficient models in our continuous efforts to reduce snowmaking draw on the electric grid. Down in the compressor house, we're installing an Air Flow Controller - a variable speed air pressure controller placed between our 2 air compressors, giving us the ability to dial in exactly how much air we want to use. Typically, air compressors are either ON or OFF, producing a set amount of air. This allows us to fine tune the machines to work in tandem with what we’re calling for in real air needs – we can use every cfm they produce, with no waste.
Food & Beverage, Green Team. With a good system for composting food waste now established in the Wild Boar Tavern, we'll add trash sorting stations to the rest of the base lodge for guests to separate their cafeteria and bagged lunch waste prior to disposal. The aim is to keep ALL compostables out of the dumpster. We feel so strongly about it that we'll even be staffing the sorting stations during busy weekend and holiday periods, and compost bins will be made available to staff break room areas as well. All disposable service ware offered by the cafeteria has been switched to compostable items.
This year we’re replacing the nozzles on 55 of our SV-10 snow guns, plus changing the air cartridges within the guns to reduce overall air consumption. This takes the SV-10 to a SV-10+; air consumption drops from 110cfm to 65 cfm, making their performance top notch and efficient.
We also purchased a hybrid snow cat, and she’s lovely. A Pisten Bully 600E+ joins the fleet this winter, bringing diesel-electric hybrid power to the Sun Mountain for the first time!
Press: Worcester Telegram, Shaun Sutner, Vermont's Bromley has pride in its green machine.
Moving the focus beyond the snow, this season we're implementing the first stages of a plan to eliminate all organic waste and recyclables from our garbage. Phase 1 will include partnering with Taylor Farm in Londonderry to locally compost food scraps from the Wild Boar, as well as introducing compostable dinnerware in the main cafeteria.
Splitting the focus between terrain improvements and hardware maintenance, Ops re-graded the Learning Zone to reduce the amount of snow required to get it in ideal shape for new Snowsports enthusiasts. We also replaced 50 worn out snow gun nozzles to get them back into prime snowmaking shape!
The story continues, this time with the help of a sweet statewide initiative in conjunction with Efficiency Vermont. We added 74 new snow guns and scrapped over 60 energy-hogging, low-efficiency ground guns. Fun fact: ground guns are necessary to get snow on hard to reach places. We worked with HKD to develop a design for a new, high-efficiency portable ground gun!
We also put a “Snowmaking Energy Index” in place, one of the first resorts in the industry to do so. This system allows us to measure the effectiveness and efficiency of our snowmaking system in real time, giving our team the ability to adjust variables allowing for maximum output, best quality snow & lowest energy consumption possible at all times. Working with the SEI, our system now includes an “Intelli-flow Controller,” to increase snow output by maximizing available air from the compressors based on real time environmental factors.
Continued snowmaking upgrades and system maintenance saves energy, time and dollars. We spent $100k on new pipe and valves, and $300k on a new air compressor that replaced THREE older models this year!
Capital investments included the addition of 60 new energy efficient HKD tower guns. 3000 feet of snowmaking pipe was replaced and sent to scrap metal recycling heaven.
...That's as far back as this history goes. We look forward to continued energy saving and Earth loving improvements for many years to come!