A solar installation on the roof of Massanutten Resort’s Woodstone building has been energized and is now producing power.
The solar array is designed to produce up to 185,000 kilowatt hours of power annually, offsetting approximately 15 percent of the building’s annual electrical demand. The building serves as the resort’s primary guest services facility, offering check-ins, indoor and outdoor swimming, a restaurant, a fitness club and other services.
An array at the resort’s laundry facility, which is expected to offset as much as 45 percent of that building’s annual electrical demand, is complete and has been producing energy since September.
Construction of a ground-mount solar array adjacent to the resort’s WaterPark is slated to begin in late summer. When completed, that array is expected to offset approximately 30 percent of the WaterPark’s electrical demand.
“To the best of our knowledge, these are the first major photovoltaic arrays serving a ski and summer resort in the mid-Atlantic,” said Matthias Smith, Massanutten Resort’s vice president and general manager.
Smith says that assuming the installations perform within design parameters, additional solar arrays will likely be installed in the coming years at a variety of resort facilities. The facilities will be connected to Dominion Power so that power produced in excess of immediate need will support the grid.
Resorts such as Massanutten use a lot of electricity to provide services to guests. Snowmaking, chairlift operations and other attractions often require significant inputs of power.
To that end, the solar arrays are just one way the resort is helping to address its own demand for electricity sustainability. For example, the resort’s current snowmaking installations feature ultra-efficient snowmaking guns that require approximately 85 percent less energy for a given volume of snow than those the resort used previously.
“We recognize our responsibility to be good stewards of the land,” said Smith. “Climate change is having, and will continue to have, a significant impact on our operations year-round. What we’re doing won’t solve the problem by itself. But this a major first step. These efforts will help reduce our electrical demand on the grid and the carbon releases that result from it.”