Monday, March 13, 2017

State Owned Ski Resorts Seeking 100% Renewable Energy

Three New York-owned ski resorts, Belleayre Ski Resort, Gore Mountain and Whiteface Mountain, have joined the Climate Reality Project I AM PRO SNOW 100% Committed program and pledged to be powered by 100 percent renewal energy by 2030.

The initiative corresponds with the Cuomo administration’s Clean Energy Standard, which requires that half of all electricity used in New York come from renewable sources by 2030.

“Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface are key drivers of their local tourism economies, and with this commitment they are joining New York’s nation-leading efforts to fight climate change, reduce our carbon footprint and foster the development of renewal resources,” a statement sent to the press by Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “This commitment to New York’s future, along with landmark new state investments in these facilities, will help ensure these resorts’ continued vitality for generations to come.”

The FY 2018 Executive Budget includes a proposed $20 million to upgrade the facilities at Whiteface and Gore Mountains; another $8 million is slated for upgrades at Belleayre Ski Center this year.

The Climate Reality Project’s I AM PRO SNOW initiative encourages ski resorts, towns, businesses and other mountain communities around the world to commit to being powered by 100-percent renewable energy by 2030.

In a statement to the press, New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority interim president/CEO Mike Pratt said, “As leaders in the ski industry, it is our responsibility to be stewards of the environment. Over the past several years, each of ORDA’s managed ski resorts have taken steps towards becoming even more environmentally friendly and efficient. We have done this through our modernizing snowmaking systems and lifts’ drives. We have also modernized our building systems and lighting. Lastly, we are purchasing renewable power and have a 5.3 MWdc solar PPA.”

Ulster County, where Belleayre is located, claims to be the only net carbon neutral county in the State of New York.

“Winter weather sports and activities are key to the local economies across the state – especially in the North Country,”  Essex County Board of Supervisors Chairman Randy Preston said. Visitors from all over come to this region to ski, snowshoe, ice skate and more and it is crucial that we preserve the natural resources we have.”

Chairman of the Warren County Board of Supervisors Ron Conover said, “We must do what we can to protect New York’s stunning resources – from our mountains, rivers, lakes and more – and with ski resorts like Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface committing themselves to a 100 percent clean energy future by 2030, we help safeguard our resources so families and winter lovers can enjoy our unparalleled attractions well into the future.”

Founded by Nobel Laureate and former U.S. Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is dedicated to mobilizing action on climate change. For more information, visit their website.

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