Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont Goes Solar 0

Ski resorts are increasingly embracing a former nemesis – the sun.

While it melts precious white gold on the slopes in the most unwelcome fashion, it’s now also producing clean solar energy for several ski resorts across the country, including Smuggler’s Notch Resort in Vermont.

Smuggler’s recently installed a 150-kilowatt solar array with 35 AllSun solar trackers from Vermont-based AllEarth Renewables.

The system will supply the energy for most of the resort’s Village Lodge, which houses four restaurants and bars along with amenities and facilities for skiers.

“We’re always looking for ways to increase our sustainability in energy and other areas,” resort vice president of corporate development Mark Delaney said in a statement. “It’s a good second step.”

The resort installed solar hot water heaters on one of its condominium buildings in 2007. That system saves the resort 1,000 gallons of propane a year, according to release about the resorts latest installation.

“It’s an exciting project,” said Andrew Savage, spokesman for AllEarth. “You have a ski resort that’s taking the initiative to produce their own clean renewable energy.”

Because ski resorts depend on a healthy environment and stable weather patterns for survival, they seem like ideal candidates for solar but for doing most of their business and using the bulk of their energy during winter months when the sun is only out for a few short hours during the day.

That’s part of why resorts have been slow to adopt the technology.

Smuggler’s operates year-round with swimming pools and waterslides drawing visitors from nearby cities during the summer months.

“We have a lot of ski areas in the state that are champions for the environment and for clean energy initiatives,” Savage said.

He’s happy to see some of those ski areas, like Smuggler’s, adopting solar.

“It’s a very public business,” Savage said of ski resorts. “A lot of people will be exposed to this solar array.”

He hopes it will continue to raise awareness about solar.

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