Windham Mountain Harnesses Wind Power to Help Run Resort

By AlpineZone News |
Nov 22 2006 - 08:55 AM

WINDHAM, New York — Windham Mountain has purchased enough clean wind energy to power three new lifts and the base lodge for the entire ski season.

“To introduce three new lifts at the resort is tremendous and ensuring they will run on renewable energy is a great step toward helping protect the environment,” said Tim Woods, General Manager of Windham Mountain.

The new lifts, including a high-speed, detachable quad, and the lodge will run completely on 900 megawatts of renewable energy RECs (renewable energy credits) purchased from Community Energy, Inc. (CEI) in mid-November. The Iberdrola company supplies wind energy RECs from facilities all over the country, and develops new wind farms in regions from New England to Texas, including New York.

“Windham Mountain has distinguished itself as a leader on two of our most demanding challenges–energy and climate. Their decision helps build generation that offers clean air now which protects our climate for future generations,” said Brent Alderfer, President of Community Energy, Inc. “By partnering with leading customers like Windham Mountain, CEI plows additional investment into new wind farms like the one it has under development in Herkimer County, New York. These new generation investments strengthen local economies at the same time they increase clean power availability to all energy consumers.”

By purchasing renewable energy credits, Windham Mountain joins many other green companies in building a demand for renewable energy. As more and more companies begin to commit to purchasing power generated via renewable sources, demand for non-renewable energy will lessen.

“Emissions are a major contributor to global warming and other negative effects on the environment. As a winter destination, we are acutely aware that even a slight elevation in temperature can alter the ski season,” Woods said. “Windham Mountain is proud to do its part to protect the natural environment that we and our guests value so highly.”

According to CEI, when compared to the average generation mix in the regions where CEI purchases wind energy credits, the annual environmental benefits of this purchase are equal to displacing over 1.6 million pounds of carbon dioxide (CO2), or planting over 110,000 trees, or taking 118 cars off the road (Emission factors are reported by U.S. EPA (EGRID 2002) for generation year 2000).

Windham Mountain has a history of making energy conscious decisions. Ironically, making snow actually helps heat the resort’s base lodge. “We essentially harness the heat produced by the snowmaking systems’ electric air compressors,” explains Nelson Armlin, the resort’s mountain manager. “The 180 degree heat runs through a plate exchange system mounted to the compressors and is pumped through the circulation system. This technique satisfies almost 75 percent of our heating needs over the course of an average winter.”