Saddleback Mountain in Rangeley, Maine

Reviving Saddleback Mountain

How Arctaris & Nexamp Are Powering the Mountain’s Profitable Future

When Saddleback Mountain closed in 2015, it left the Rangeley community longing for revival, which came in 2020 when Arctaris Impact Investors stepped in to rejuvenate the beloved resort. By joining forces with Nexamp to tap into solar energy, they took a significant step to curb the resort's high energy costs. Together, they're crafting a new chapter in Saddleback's story, one where economic growth and climate resilience coincide.

Saddleback Mountain Community Solar Farm

Securing a Profitable & Emission-Free Future

Reducing Saddleback's energy costs
Combating climate's toll on winter sports
Energizing the region with sustainable electricity
Saddleback Mountain Historical Photo

How Is Climate Change Affecting Ski Resorts?

The quantity and quality of snowfall factor into every ski resort’s bottom line. Snowfall is unpredictable, and it’s even more challenging with milder winters that create periods of thaw. These rising temperatures are changing precipitation patterns, which ultimately leads to less snowfall. Some resorts, including Saddleback, have invested in expensive snow-making equipment, but they are also committed to fighting climate change head-on. Investing in clean energy is not only an avenue to direct electricity savings but also securing a future for the mountain and the planet.

Arctaris and Nexamp: Powering Community Revival with Solar Expertise

Arctaris chose Nexamp as a partner for the Saddleback Mountain project due to Nexamp's exceptional track record and capabilities in the solar energy sector. With proven expertise in solar development, Nexamp stands out for its ability to manage complex projects seamlessly, offering a single point of contact that streamlines communication and project execution. This efficiency is further enhanced by Nexamp's ownership of the solar farm, enabling a power purchase agreement with Arctaris. Beyond technical and operational excellence, Nexamp's mission-based mentality aligns perfectly with Arctaris' goals to rebuild communities and contribute positively to the environment.

Building the Farm

The solar farm project, covering 31 acres in Maine, broke ground in 2022 and was connected to the Central Maine Power grid by November 2023. This project was carefully sited to keep the Appalachian Trail's views untouched, aligning with Nexamp's and Arctaris’ mutual respect for the natural world and a commitment to maintaining the area’s beauty for hikers and nature enthusiasts.

Nexamp hired local workers for construction, including a major contract with Sargent, Maine's largest civil contractor, and CLT, ensuring many jobs stayed in the community. Importantly, the project's timing meant that Sargent could avoid the seasonal layoffs typically seen in winter. Simultaneously addressing employment challenges and prioritizing environmental care, the project stands as a testament to Nexamp's holistic approach to community and conservation.

2020: Arctaris purchased Saddleback Mountain
2021: Nexamp partnered with Arctaris
2022: Nexamp broke ground on a 31-acre solar farm
2023: The farm was connected to the Central Maine Power grid

Generating Savings & Reducing Emissions

The solar farm is a game-changer, delivering clean energy to the Central Maine Power grid, cutting costs for Saddleback, and reducing carbon emissions. This project showcases the direct benefits of solar power: it not only lowers electricity bills for Saddleback Mountain and other subscribers but also significantly reduces the environmental impact of energy production. In short, it's a win-win, offering both economic and ecological advantages by aligning financial savings with sustainability goals.

Rebuilding the Community

Arctaris was determined to reignite community spirit, bringing back jobs and offering affordable housing for employees. Many who lost their jobs after the 2015 closure have returned, and now it’s much easier to stay thanks to Arctaris' initiative to build affordable ski-in, ski-out staff housing. Plans for a new hotel, restaurant, and more mountain lodging are also underway, complementing year-round attractions like fly fishing and hiking. This strategy doesn't just revive a mountain; it revitalizes a community, making Saddleback a beacon of year-round enjoyment and economic resurgence.

Going Beyond the Solar Farm

Arctaris is charging toward a greener future, crafting a vision of sustainability that's both practical and impactful. They've created an Environmental Compliance Land Steward role focused on harmonizing their operations with the environment, reflecting a deep-rooted commitment to the planet. Through thoughtful collaboration with foresters, they're ensuring the land thrives alongside their business, marrying innovation with care through the adoption of energy-efficient technologies like electric chargers and hybrid snowcats. The Sustainability Committee is at the heart of this effort, steering initiatives that encompass recycling, composting, and the preservation of the Appalachian Trail's natural splendor. This partnership between Arctaris and Nexamp isn't just about actions; it's about inspiring a shift toward more sustainable practices and setting a powerful example for environmental stewardship.

Saddleback Mountain's Win-Win: Reviving Economy, Advancing Clean Energy

The revitalization journey of Saddleback Mountain showcases a forward-thinking approach to renewable energy and economic revitalization. Their partnership with Nexamp has not only breathed new life into a cherished ski resort but has also established a model for sustainable economic development. Through strategic investments in solar energy, they have reduced operational costs, created jobs, and set a standard for environmental responsibility. This story of transformation at Saddleback Mountain serves as an inspiring example of how collaboration, innovation, and a commitment to sustainability can create a profitable and emission-free future. It underscores the potential for renewable energy to power our communities and protect our planet, inviting others to follow in their footsteps toward a more sustainable and inclusive future.

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Images provided by Saddleback Mountain