Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture
Tahoe Arts and Mountain Culture

Tahoe’s Wind Powered Ski Resorts

Posted on January 19, 2014
Filed Under Green Businesses, Ski Culture

Running a ski resort takes a lot of energy. Lifts, snow making, lights, etc. Just so we can have fun and be comfortable.

But electricity causes pollution, right? Not if you tap into the wind like some of our ski resorts.

Recognizing that electricity is a major polluter, some of our local ski resorts are buying wind power to balance our needs with the environment.

Ski resorts across the country and in Lake Tahoe are getting serious about fighting global warming. Many are purchasing renewable energy credits equal to the resort’s entire electricity usage.

By embracing wind power as a clean and renewable source, participating ski resorts counteract millions of pounds of carbon dioxide emissions we emit by driving our cars to the resorts every year. Now that’s cool.

Buying Wind. How does that work?

Since it is physically impossible to deliver electricity straight from a wind farm to a ski resort, renewable energy credits make purchasing wind power possible. Wind energy credits ensure that the amount of electricity the ski resort uses is replaced onto the power grid with wind power. Wind farms sell renewable energy credits to better compete with fossil fuels, allowing consumers to choose clean sources of electricity.

Here’s what a few of our local ski resorts are doing to reduce their use of electricity, and to keep Tahoe cool.

Alpine Meadows
Alpine Meadows purchases 100% renewable wind powered energy from Colorado-based Renewable Choice Energy, a wind power provider. Using this amount of wind energy is equivalent to not driving a car 1,822,061 miles. That’s three and a half round-trip tickets to the moon!

All 5 of the Vail Resorts, including Heavenly, are 100% powered by the wind, making them the second largest corporate purchaser of wind power in the United States. Like Alpine Meadows, Vail has also partnered with Renewable Choice Energy.

Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe
Mt. Rose-Ski Tahoe has joined the SkiGreen program and purchased enough renewable energy to match the annual electrical load of the Northwest and Zephyr chairlifts. This represents over 610 megawatt–hours of renewable energy produced from non-polluting resources – equivalent to the annual electricity used by about 50 average homes. That’s the approximate carbon dioxide reduction equivalent of planting 115 acres of trees or not driving 73 cars for one year.

Sugar Bowl
In partnership with 3 Phases Energy, Sugar Bowl is supporting California wind farms by purchasing renewable energy to offset 100% of its energy use. This 4,272 megawatt hour (MWh) per year purchase reduces Sugar Bowl’s consumption of fossil fuels, and keeps 4,588,000 pounds of greenhouse gasses out of the atmosphere each year. This is equivalent to planting 310,000 trees or taking 400 cars off of the road for one year.

Want to help? It’s Easy. Buy a SkiGreen Tag.

Several of our ski resorts are selling Mini-SkiGreen Tags with their season pass sales and daily lift tickets. The proceeds from Mini-SkiGreen Tag sales are used to support renewable energy like wind power at the ski resort.

Each Mini-SkiGreen Tag represents enough wind energy to offset the global warming pollution generated from driving an average car around 150 miles.

SkiGreen Tags make a great year-round gift for the planet, your family, friends and yourself. Click here for our local ski resorts that sell them.

We live in a special place. A place so beautiful it nurtures the soul and creative spirit. A place so breathtaking it inspires conservation. A mountain culture that masters the fine art of living. Welcome to this place we call home. Welcome to Lake Tahoe. Meet the local artists, individuals, businesses and events that define our unique mountain culture and embody Tahoe's creative and entrepreneurial spirit.
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