Berkshire East Mountain Resort, Mass., may become the first ski area in North America, and perhaps the world, to be powered 100 percent by carbon-free electricity generated on-site. It’s most of the way to this goal already, and working to complete it.
First came a 277-foot tall, 900-kilowatt wind turbine commissioned in 2011. In 2012 came a 10-acre solar field, capable of generating a maximum of 500 kilowatts. The 2.3 million kilowatt-hours produced annually by the turbine and panels exceed Berkshire East consumption. The excess power does not generate income, but it does dramatically reduce peak demand charges.
Wind Turbine at Berkshire East. Photo courtesy of William Landon Farrell
The solar field is especially notable. To economize use of space, 90 AllEarth Solar Tracker poles hold a total of 1,800 panels—up to 24 panels each—that all follow the sun, producing 35-to 45-percent more electricity than fixed panels. The installation is a model of efficiency.Both ...