Franconia, NH – A series of energy efficiency initiatives now wrapping up at Cannon Mountain is expected to reduce energy consumption at the New Hampshire ski area by about 30 percent, while significantly increasing snowmaking capabilities.
The State of New Hampshire, which owns Cannon Mountain, signed a $5.1 million contract with the energy service firm Ameresco for the project.
The conservation measures include: replacement of Cannon’s main-trunk power line and upgrading the transformer; construction of a mid-mountain snowmaking booster pump house; installation of 388 high-efficiency tower snowmaking guns; and lighting and weatherization upgrades.
The ski area’s aging primary power line is being replaced and select primary and secondary transformers upgraded, increasing power reliability and energy efficiency. The pump house will move 50 percent more water to reach snowmaking trails on the upper mountain, increasing snowmaking capabilities on the upper slopes. The snowmaking tower guns replace older, less efficient equipment, which provides the greatest energy savings and improves operational efficiency on the mountain. Baron’s Run has been widened, and the slopes will be prowled by a new $350,000 Prinoth Bison-X groomer.
In addition, Cannon is getting a new lift this winter. The new $600,000 Valar T-Bar has been erected on Mittersill slopes to assist racers participating in events coordinated by the University of New Hampshire ski team, Franconia Ski Club and the Holderness School.
The Cannon energy project is funded through the state’s energy performance contract. Savings from the reduction in energy will be used to pay off the bond within 16 years. Work on the project began in late July.
No state money was used to build the Valar T-Bar. It was gifted to the state by donors in honor of late ski instructors Paul and Paula Kann Valar.