Montpelier, VT – Killington Resort has received the Vermont Governor’s Award for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention for a pair of projects at the ski and snowboard resort that eliminate more than 1,400 gallons of heating fuel and save more than 70,000 kilowatt hours of electricity annually.
Killington Resort employees Alan Patch, Jim Shands and Tom Horrocks accepted the award on behalf of the ski resort from Vermont Governor Jim Douglas and Jonathan Wood, Secretary of the Vermont Agency for Natural Resources, during a ceremony Monday evening at the state capitol in Montpelier. This is the first time the resort has received this award for innovative projects that reduce an environmental footprint.
“We are honored to receive this award and to be recognized for the hard work our team has put forth in reducing our overall carbon footprint,” said Patch, who oversaw both projects from conception to completion.
The Vermont Governor’s Awards for Environmental Excellence and Pollution Prevention were established in 1993 to honor Vermont individuals, organizations, institutions, public agencies, businesses, and industries using innovative approaches that reduce or eliminate the generation of pollutants and wastes at the source. Categories have been expanded since then to include other environmental leaders.
In the first of two projects recognized, Killington Resort partnered with Efficiency Vermont to retrofit nine of the resort’s walk-in coolers with FreeAire Economizer Systems. The FreeAire system uses cold outside air and high-efficiency evaporator fan motors to chill walk-in coolers and freezers. Since the installation began in August of 2007, the FreeAire system has saved more than 140,000 kilowatt hours of electricity – enough to power approximately seven American households for an entire year – and eliminated more than 88 tons of CO2 emissions.
At the time of installation, Killington was the first ski resort and one of the largest companies in Vermont to utilize the FreeAire Economizer System. In fact, it was considered so noteworthy that the installation was featured on the Discovery Channel’s “Invention Nation” series.
In the second project, the resort installed a Centec Heat Exchange System which uses excess heat generated by the snowmaking compressor system during the 120 day snowmaking season to heat buildings and for other uses. The system captures excess heat that would otherwise be unused and processed through cooling towers, to heat the ski area’s entire snowmaking facility and dry all the snowmakers’ clothing. Additionally, the system provides hot water used for washing vehicles with this excess energy.
The Centec Heat Exchange System has saved more than $6,600 in annual energy costs, and approximately 1,435 gallons per year in heating oil. By utilizing this system, the resort has eliminated an entire oil burning furnace and accompanying heating oil tank.