Donner Summit resorts turning to wind energy |

Donner Summit resorts turning to wind energy

As renewable energy gains popularity, Tahoe Basin ski resorts continue to market themselves as environmentally-friendly organizations. But some area-resorts are doing more than just marketing. By June 2008, Boreal Mountain Resort and Soda Springs Mountain Resort will offset 100 percent of their grid-supplied electricity through the purchase of renewable energy credits, said Jody Churich, general manager of both resorts.Were not just talking about being green, we are green, Churich said.Powdr Corporation headquartered in Park City, Utah and owner of Soda Springs, Boreal and five other ski and snowboard resorts in the United States has purchased nearly 50 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy credits, Krista Parry, spokeswoman for Powdr Corporation, said in a statement.The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that Powdrs purchase will avoid over 67 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions annually, Parry said.Powdr works with Renewable Choice Energy, a carbon offset provider of energy sources such as wind, biomass and hydro-power. The green power purchases support new renewable generation projects nationwide, and help reduce the environmental impacts from fossil fuels, Parry said.Powdr Corps extraordinary commitment will inspire other resorts to follow its lead, said Quayle Hodek, chief executive officer of Renewable Choice Energy. Supporting renewable energy is a powerful way to fight climate change and make the air cleaner for everyone.In addition to purchasing wind energy credits, Boreal will be working with Pacific Gas andamp; Electric this summer to retrofit all indoor and outdoor lighting to energy-efficient lights, and will change the sign on Interstate 80 to light-emitting diode bulbs to cut down on the electric bill, Churich said. The two projects will save over 121,000 kilowatt hours, the equivalent of 94.7 metric tons of carbon dioxide, Churich said. Boreal will also be making improvements to their snowmaking system this summer by upgrading to an automated fan system, which will reduce the resorts carbon emissions by over 300 tons by eliminating compressed air, Churich said. I think this shows our continued conscientious efforts to improve our carbon footprint, Churich said. People can think theres green washing, but the fact is every bit helps.

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