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Cannon Opens with Snow Guns Blazing
Published Tuesday, December 6, 2016

A snow gun at Cannon Mountain in Franconia. Courtesy photo.

A series of energy efficiency initiatives should reduce energy use at state-owned Cannon Mountain in Franconia by about 30 percent, while also significantly increasing snowmaking capabilities.The State of NH signed a $5.1 million contract with the energy service firm Ameresco for the project.

The most significant upgrade to Cannon’s snow making system in the history of the ski area, this new arsenal of over 400 new and upgraded snow guns will enable the ski area to make more snow and save on energy costs. The energy-efficiency initiative also involved installation of a new main trunk power line, upgrades to transformers, as well as insulation and lighting improvements to lodges and facilities.

“This is part of the state’s effort to reduce its energy consumption 50 percent by 2030,” said Commissioner Jeffrey Rose of the Department of Resources and Economic Development, which oversees operation of Cannon Mountain. “Even as this important project is anticipated to cut energy consumption, it will provide critical upgrades to important infrastructure at the ski area.”

Along with the energy savings, the $4 million Mittersill improvement project is expected to be completed this month. Mittersill is the back country ski area next to Cannon's main trails. The project used money raised by Franconia Ski Club and donated to Cannon Mountain, the state of NH and a grant from the Northern Border Regional Commission to fund the installation of snow making on six major routes on Cannon’s Mittersill slopes. The project also involved significant trail improvements, the creation of the Taft Training Slope and the installation of the Valar T-Bar.

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