Cranmore Mountain Resort, recognized in the past for its sustainability practices, made a major sustainability statement today by announcing that it will be one of the first ski resorts East of the Mississippi to add an electric/diesel driven snow cat to its grooming fleet.
The new energy efficient Pisten Bully 600 E+ has been successfully tested in Europe and in the western U.S. and will now be used on the slopes of Cranmore, and Bromley Mountain in VT. Both resorts are operated by the Fairbank Group which has a long history of implementing sustainability projects at Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, located in the Berkshires of MA.
“The new Pisten Bully 600 E+ is the future of snow cats and Cranmore is pleased to be among the first to use this new technology,” commented Cranmore President and General Manager Ben Wilcox. “Cranmore was among the first areas to use biodiesel in our cats over 10 years ago for sustainability reasons and this new cat is the next wave in sustainable resort operating practices that we are excited to implement.”
Built by the German company Kassbohrer, Pisten Bully’s “Green Machine” 600E+ is the world’s first groomer with a diesel- electric drive. One of the most significant advancements in snowgrooming technology over the past two decades, the 600 E+ uses a diesel engine to drive two electric generators which power electric motors that turn the tracks and the snow tiller. On its trip downhill, the electric energy created from the breaking effect of the electric drive motors is used to power the snow tiller, while the engine idles.
With its cost effectiveness and low environmental impact, its high efficiency reduces the emission of nitrogen oxides and carbon dioxides by 20%, produces 99% fewer sooty particles and reports a 20% fuel savings over their standard 600 model. Noise is also reduced with the engine operating at lower engine RPMs.
The new PB 600 E+ is just one of many sustainable initiatives planned at Cranmore this winter. The resort has teamed up with Tesla to add two electric charge stations in its base area. Tesla drivers will be able to plug into one of two designated charge parking spots for a free charge while they enjoy the resort.
Over the summer, the resort also purchased 25 Mckinney low energy snow guns and retrofitted 20 of their existing tower guns with state of the art energy efficient snow gun heads. With the addition of these new tower guns, Cranmore’s inventory of energy efficient tower guns now stands at 475 fixed guns on the mountain. This total is a 300% increase since 2010 when the Fairbank Group first purchased the resort.
With construction now underway of Phase One of Cranmore’s $50 million base area redevelopment, Kearsarge Brook Condominiums at Cranmore will be one of the first condominium buildings in the state of New Hampshire to use an energy efficient electric heat pump system which will provide heat and air conditioning to each residence. Electric heat pumps represent the most efficient alternative to fuel, oil and electric systems when it comes to heating and cooling. The system reduces carbon emissions and has an efficient conversion rate of energy to heat.
“New Hampshire Electric Co-op has enjoyed working with Cranmore over the years to help improve the energy efficiency of their operation. These initiatives are another example of their leadership in the industry, and utilizing the latest energy efficient technologies. We look forward to supporting Cranmore with their base area redevelopment," said Bill Johnstone, New Hampshire Electric Cooperative.
“Sustainability is a major part of our resort and parent company’s mission,” added Wilcox. “Our owners, employees and guests know that being sustainable is the right thing to do for our environment and we are proud to be a leader in this category.”