Nation’s Oldest Ski Club Adopts Solar Power
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Brentwood, N.H. (October 20, 2016) — The oldest ski club in the United States will soon begin generating electricity from the sun. Nansen Ski Club was organized in 1872 and is in the process of incorporating renewable energy technologies into the construction of a warming hut, which is located next to the winter parking area at Milan Hill State Park.
Construction on the hut began Memorial Day weekend. A 2.52-kilowatt rooftop solar array will be installed later this month:
Date/Time: Saturday, October 29th at 8:00 a.m.
Location: 427 Milan Hill Road, Milan, N.H.
ReVision Energy Solar Design Specialist Craig Cadieux organized the donation of materials and will install the system, along with a group of volunteers. He and his wife Heather own a nearby cabin and have enjoyed using the trails for winter skiing and summer hiking.
“This area is a real jewel for the North Country with top-notch Nordic ski trails and a great place for family activities,” said Cadieux. “This photovoltaic system, together with the high-performance Garland Mill Timberframes structure, will make the building self-sustaining, requiring no fossil-fuel based energy.”
The hut will also feature an air source heat pump and a woodstove. The solar array will provide the electricity needed to power the heat pump and to warm and start the club’s trail grooming equipment, which is used to maintain 16 kilometers of Nordic ski trails at the park.
The project began this spring when the New Hampshire Division of Parks and Recreation prepared the site and poured the hut’s foundation. Garland Mill Timberframes of Lancaster donated time and timber for the project.
Garland Mill Timberframes owner Ben Southworth says the project is a natural fit. “We’re a small design firm specializing in heavy, timber-framed structures and high-performance buildings, and we design low and no-carbon energy options for buildings. Nansen has a small operating budget, so it’s important that their building is inexpensive to heat and maintain. A tight building envelope coupled with a ductless mini split and solar electricity is a perfect choice for the hut.”
“We also love being outdoors and encouraging non-motorized winter recreation,” adds Southworth. “My children race on cross country ski teams in the North Country, and our company appreciates locally-run operations like Nansen.”
Nansen Ski Club president Tracy Rexford says sustainability is critical to the club’s mission. “The solar array will help us keep our operational costs down by powering the heat pump and allowing us to plug in our trail groomer. We’re really far North, and we’re proud to maintain our club’s 145-year history in the region while providing access to premier Nordic ski and snowshoe activities for locals and visitors, young and old.”
Nansen Ski Club board member Phoebe Backler is grateful for the community support. “Early on, we were researching designs for small yurts, but the outpouring of local support helped us to dream bigger. We cannot imagine a better way to celebrate our 145th season and hope outdoor enthusiasts from across the Northeast will come and ski or snowshoe our trails past vistas of the Presidential Mountains. A cup of cocoa and a warm fire will await in our beautiful, timberframe warming hut.”
Funding and in-kind donations for the project originated from more than four dozen donors, including grantors, businesses and individuals. A GoFundMe campaign is also in progress. Donations may be made at: gofundme.com/2mvvjfyc.
ABOUT GARLAND MILL TIMBERFRAMES
Garland Mill Timberframes is a small, family-owned company specializing in the design and construction of heavy, timber-framed structures and high-performance buildings. Garland Mill owns and operates the oldest, continuously operating, water-powered sawmill in the country, making it a natural fit to partner with the Nansen Ski Club on their new warming hut. Learn more at: garlandmill.com.
ABOUT NANSEN SKI CLUB
Established in 1872, Nansen Ski Club is the oldest, continuously operated club in the United States. The club is based in Berlin, New Hampshire, and serves the Androscoggin Valley by providing groomed ski trails at Milan Hill State Park. Learn more at: skinansen.com.