Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River Become Largest Consumers Of Wind Power in New England
SAM Magazine - Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River, Maine, November 14, 2006 -Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River have become the largest purchasers and consumers of wind power in New England. Both Maine resorts have jointly chosen to offset 100 percent of their resort operations' electricity usage with energy generated from wind. Wind energy exclusively will be used to offset power use at all resort base lodges, offices, ski lifts, energy-intensive snowmaking operations and three Grand Resort Hotel and Conference Centers. The two resorts are purchasing 30 million kilowatt hours of Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs) from Constellation NewEnergy to achieve this goal. A Green e-certified REC entitles the owner to one megawatt hour of power produced by a green power generator. One certified REC has the environmental impact of indirectly reducing the emissions associated with one megawatt hour of electricity produced by a fossil fuel generator.
Based on a national average utility emissions rate, fulfilling the two resorts' electricity needs with zero-emission, non fossil fuel sources will keep more than 41 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. The amount is equivalent to avoiding the C02 emissions produced by 3,600 passenger cars each year and is the same amount of electricity needed to power more than 2,500 average American homes annually.
The move to wind power is the latest environmental program taken on by the resorts within their comprehensive environmental initiatives. Both resorts support the National Ski Areas Association Sustainable Slopes program and the Keep Winter Cool Campaign. Sugarloaf and Sunday River have invested in new snowmaking technology in the form of low energy snowguns, which use 40 percent less energy to make snow.
In addition, used vegetable oil from community and on-mountain restaurants at Sugarloaf is being recycled into biodiesel fuel for use in the resort's busses and grooming equipment.
In addition to on-mountain bio-diesel use, the resort is also in discussions with the Town of Carrabassett Valley to develop an environmentally friendly transportation system. Recycling programs have been in place at both resorts, and programs addressing wastewater, carpooling, and expanding the use of bio-diesel continue to grow. \