Pump House Indoor Waterpark, photo courtesy Jay Peak
Vermont Business Magazine Through collaboration from numerous utilities and state agencies, Jay Peak Resort will execute one of the largest standalone carbon reduction projects in Vermont’s history, and one of the largest recent standalone carbon reduction projects in the U.S. ski industry. The project will realize the installation of a 3-megawatt electric boiler to take over the entire heat demand for the 176-room Hotel Jay & Conference Center during times when heating with electricity is more cost efficient. The boiler would assume responsibility for providing 100% of the heat load to the Hotel, Conference Center, Pump House Indoor Waterpark, numerous restaurants, and retail spaces. Once completed, an estimated carbon reduction of 2500 tons per year can be expected.
A project of this nature could not be possible without recent upgrades to the investments at Jay Peak, as well as collaboration and financial contributions from organizations like Medley Thermal, Vermont Electric Co-Op, Efficiency Vermont, Vermont Gas Systems, the State of Vermont, and the State of Massachusetts, all of which provided critical grant funding.
Working together, the organizations recognize that a reduction of 60% of the Hotel Jay & Conference Center and Pump House Indoor Waterpark propane consumption is a major step toward reducing carbon-causing emissions.
“Jay Peak was fortunate to have been purchased, ultimately, by a company whose forward-thinking approaches to energy consumption and management allowed us to integrate this project,” said Jay Peak president and general manager, Steve Wright. “While it will have cost and energy savings for seasons to come, the price tag was real and both PGRI, and our partners, should be commended for stepping up and doing the right thing.”
Medley Thermal (acquired by Antora Energy in 2022) led the development of this landmark project as part of the Energy 2020 cohort of DeltaClimeVT, leveraging its experience in grid operations and thermal energy systems. “Antora is proud to be part of one of the largest standalone carbon reduction projects in Vermont’s history,” said Jordan Kearns, VP of Project Development at Antora Energy. “Using our software, Jay Peak will switch from its existing propane boilers to a new electricity-powered system when local renewable energy is abundant and power prices are low, enabling Jay Peak to reduce energy costs and emissions. This project couples innovative technology with a dynamic utility pricing contract that matches power demand with local supply in real time, bringing valuable flexibility to the electric grid. Antora is excited to be bringing this approach to facilities across the country.”
This project adds to other efforts at Jay Peak to reduce its carbon footprint through heating. Recently, upgrades to infrastructure allow waste heat to transfer from ice production in the Ice Haus Indoor Skating Arena to heating the Waterpark.
This waste heat, that would otherwise be rejected to the atmosphere, is in turn able to be used to heat the Waterpark, reducing the amount of fossil fuels required to do the same work while simultaneously reducing the carbon footprint of the Hotel Jay Complex overall.
“Climate change is happening, and organizations like Jay Peak are finding themselves on the front lines of an evolving energy and climate landscape,” said Peter Walke, Efficiency Vermont Managing Director. “This ground-breaking project has brought together partners to develop a solution that not only helps achieve decarbonization goals, but also leads Vermont into a more resilient, flexible and renewable energy future.”
Jay Peak continues its commitment to investments toward growing the regional economy in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont.
“Capital investments, like this project in Orleans County, play an important role in reversing the harm on industries that were most impacted by the pandemic— including our hospitality sector,” said Department of Economic Development Commissioner Joan Goldstein. “We are pleased to see Jay Peak’s efficient boiler upgrade come to fruition so the business may operate more effectively and support the community’s revitalization efforts heading into the future.”
Vermont Electric Co-op (VEC), a major partner in the project, also recognizes the positive impact.
“The Vermont Electric Cooperative team is absolutely thrilled to see this project come to fruition,” remarked Andrea Cohen, VEC manager of government affairs and member relations. “Hats off to Jay Peak and all of the involved partners for having the vision and commitment to jump into the next stage of innovation for a sustainable energy future. Demonstrating that we can save carbon and save money will show what is possible and what is imperative. This is a step to embracing our responsibility to walk the talk and reduce our contributions to greenhouse emissions. VEC is proud to contribute our part in helping to make this project happen”.
Breaking down the benefits in bolstering Jay Peak’s green initiatives:
- Overall reduction of 450,000 gallons of propane per year; 60% of the entire propane consumption of the Hotel Jay amenity complex.
- 2,500-ton annual reduction in CO2 emissions.
- Switchover is based on ISO-NE signals, (New England grid operator), adding electrical draw during times when the existing grid does not have the necessary demand to support generation by renewable resources (such as Kingdom Community Wind). This will allow those renewable resources to remain in operation through the lower-demand periods.
- Installation of the electric boiler will create 1-2 full-time maintenance positions at Jay Peak.
- At an overall cost of $1M, the project is expected to provide a net savings of up to $250k per year in propane costs.
ABOUT JAY PEAK
Jay Peak is a four-season resort in Northern Vermont, near the Canadian border and about 60 miles north of Burlington. Featuring over 485 acres of on and off-piste skiing and snowboarding terrain, Jay Peak is serviced by nine lifts, including Vermont’s only aerial Tram, and is hailed as having some of the best gladed terrain in the East. Amenities also include a year-round indoor Waterpark, an indoor ice arena, an extensive recreation center, multi-purpose athletic fields, and an 18-hole championship golf course. The resort is best known for its 359 inches of average annual snowfall, which is the most snow east of the Rocky Mountains, and a wide range of accommodations, dining options, and unique events catering to all types of visitors.
ABOUT PACIFIC GROUP RESORTS, INC. (PGRI)
Pacific Group Resorts, Inc. is a geographically diversified international resort operating company based in Park City, Utah whose portfolio includes Wintergreen Resort in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, Wisp Resort in the Appalachian Mountains of western Maryland, Ragged Mountain in the White Mountains of New Hampshire, Mt. Washington Alpine Resort in the Beaufort Mountain Range on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, Jay Peak Resort in the Green Mountains of northern Vermont, and Powderhorn Mountain Resort on the Grand Mesa of western Colorado. Among the resorts, there are over 3,885 acres of ski terrain, 99 holes of golf, lift served mountain biking, ZipTours, canopy tours, aerial challenge courses, an indoor waterpark, multiple aquatic and activity centers, an ice arena, extensive lodging accommodations, dining options, and two full-service spas. For more information on PGRI, please visit www.pgri.us.
Source: 4.26.2023. Jay Peak. jaypeakresort.com