Monday, September 29, 2014

Mt Abram Ski Area begins installation of large solar array

GREENWOOD, ME- September 24, 2014. Mt Abram, Maine has begun construction on a 244.915 Kw, 803 panel, photovoltaic solar project. Expected to produce in excess of 280,000 kWh annually, the array will offset approximately 70% of the ski area’s annual electricity consumption.

In the summer of 2013, the USDA awarded Mt Abram a 25% matching grant, up to $235,000, from the Rural Energy for America Program (REAP). Payback on the project is expected at 4.5 years.   

“Commitments to on-site, renewable initiatives insulate the ski area from escalating energy costs. Over two thirds of our electricity requirements become indefinitely fixed,” said Mt Abram co-owner Matt Hancock. “The 'SolGen' Project continues the advancement of our Clean Energy Game plan – utilizing abundant, local, and readily available resources wherever and whenever possible. We are making every effort to effectuate colder, snowier winters.”

Earlier this summer, Mt Abram announced a snow making infrastructure project to greatly improve the energy efficiency of the system while increasing water flow and pressure to better adapt to a late starting winter and unwanted weather events. In recent years, the ski area has upgraded its on-hill snow making guns to Low E towers, switched to a wood pellet heating system - eliminating the use of #2 heating oil and became the second ski area in North America to install Electric Vehicle chargers.

“We are extremely excited to continue to support Mt Abram as Maine's sustainable mountain playground.” said Dave Scanlan, Mt Abram General Manager and Mountain Rider’s Alliance Co-founder. “Stabilizing this significant cost allows ever more attention to enhancing the skiing and riding experience. Outdoor winter enthusiasts care about our snow surface but they have become increasingly discerning about the practices we apply to create the surface.”

There will be an official commissioning ceremony, followed by a tour of Mt Abram’s other environmental initiatives on November 6 from 11 am to 12:30 pm. Members of the press and public are cordially invited to attend.

About Mt Abram:
In operation since 1960, Mt Abram has long been a favorite learn to ski mountain as well as being one of Maine’s favorite mountains for racing and exploring off-piste terrain. Located 70 miles from Portland, the ski area offers 49 trails and five lifts, a vertical drop of 1,150 feet, and Maine’s longest tubing park. Many cherish the friendly ambiance created from the multigenerational families that call the mountain home for the winter season. Winner of the 2012 Golden Eagle Award for Environmental Excellence, ski operations are managed by the Mountain Rider’s Alliance.

All media inquiries, please contact Jamie Schectman at shecky@mountainridersalliance.com.
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