U.S. ski resort to go 100% renewable

The Squaw Valley ski resort in California’s famous Lake Tahoe region will become the first in the U.S. to be powered by 100 per cent renewable energy.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows’ is teaming up with Liberty Utilities to provide the ski resort with 100 per cent renewable energy as early as December 2018. Liberty Utilities, the electric service provider in the Lake Tahoe region of California, is helping the resort identify and develop new renewable energy generation, storage and energy efficiency projects.

While 25 per cent of Liberty Utilities’ current power mix includes renewables, its goal is to develop and deploy a project or series of projects to achieve procurement of renewables equal to 100 per cent of the electricity use of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows as well as other customers with 100 per cent renewable electricity goals.

This strategy would also support the State of California’s renewable energy goals, outlined in Senate Bill 100, which aims for 100 per cent of total retail sales of electricity in California to come from renewable energy sources and zero-carbon resources by December 31, 2045.

“We take accountability for our company’s contribution to CO2, hence our longstanding and unyielding internal focus on reducing our overall footprint,” Andy Wirth, president and COO of Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, said in a statement announcing the new initiative. “We’re glad to finally advance on this key, strategic level changeover to 100 per cent renewable-sourced energy.

By moving over to 100 per cent renewable energy, Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows expects to reduce its total annual carbon footprint from 13,079 metric tonnes to some 6,682 metric tonnes – a 49 per cent reduction equivalent to the emissions generated by the annual electric use of 959 homes.

“Today’s announcement demonstrates that moving to all renewable energy in the present tense – not a generation from now – is not just possible, it’s entirely doable. We have all got to generate the demand for renewable energy and support world-class and progressive companies like Liberty Utilities,” Wirth added.

Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows is not new to sustainability initiatives. In the past seven years alone, the resort has banned single-use plastic water bottle sales, introduced ride share and carpool incentive programmes, and more.

Image credit: Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows

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