New York goes Solar

Three state-run ski areas in New York State, USA, are to be 100% powered by solar energy.

New York state Governor Andrew M. Cuomo said that Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface Mountain have committed to using solar power to operate their ski lift and snowmaking operations.

The three areas – two of which were venues for the 1932 and 1980 Lake Placid Winter Olympics – will buy in the solar power from a company called Borrego Solar which produces solar power in New York state, in a 25-year power-purchase agreement.

In a statement to the press, Governor Cuomo told media:

“This is a perfect example of how our administration is jump-starting New York’s clean energy economy, and reducing the state’s carbon footprint – which is good for all New Yorkers. I am pleased to see this excited announcement come together, and I encourage people to check out one of New York’s premier ski resorts this winter.”

Alongside this, a $1bn initiative titled ‘Reforming the Energy Vision’s NY-Sun’  is being introduced to speed up the use of solar in New York State, moving the state closer to having sustainable solar industry as New York builds a clean, resilient and affordable energy system.

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Despite snowy conditions, Whiteface’s ‘Cloudsplitter’ lift (pictured above) will be fully solar-powered as part of a larger bid for renewable energy statewide

Of the state’s many ski areas, Gore Mountain is the biggest power user, consuming around 13 million kilowatt hours of power, at a cost of $1mn annually. As well as saving the environment, this switch to solar should save it more than $200,000 per year.

“With this initiative ORDA will substantially reduce its carbon footprint essentially akin to removing over 46,000 cars from the road over the life of the agreement,” said ORDA chairman Pat Barrett.

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