Ski season at Sugarloaf Mountain Resort kicks off Friday, with resort staff using new low energy snowmaking equipment to cover the trails.

The Carrabassett Valley ski resort hopes the $1.75 million equipment will cut energy costs and provide steadier snow coverage.

The first round of 200 new snow making guns were installed last season and reduced the resort’s energy bill by 10 percent last year, said spokesman Ethan Austin.

This year, there will be 135 more of the high tech snowmakers installed. Austin said they won’t know the exact effect of the new technology until later in the season and said the rate of savings depends on the weather.

Austin said the snowmakers use 90 percent less compressed air, which is the major reoccurring cost associated with the equipment.

The equipment also can make snow at lower temperatures and leaves the success of Sugarloaf’s ski season less vulnerable to poor snowfall.

“It gives us more security,” he said. “We can make a lot more snow in more marginal temperatures.”

Sugarloaf was the second Maine ski resort to open this season, with Sunday River ski resort in Newry open since Oct. 26.

The ski resort has also been installing 224 of the same new low energy snow guns. The ski resort installed 300 of the snowmakers the year before, and the new energy snow guns make up about 35 percent of their total equipment, said spokeswoman Darcy Morse.

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