We are highlighting five ski mountains in the northeast that are taking proactive measures to protect themselves against the warmer winter that climate change causes. Part 2 of our Champions of Snow series was featured in The Recorder. Here’s a sneak peak – or click here to read the full article!
Berkshire East named energy champion by state group
By Diane Broncaccio, Recorder Staff
“CHARLEMONT — ‘Snow Champion’ might easily describe the Berkshire East Mountain Resort, which can make its own snow if needed. But the fact that Berkshire East can also make all its own electricity from renewable wind and solar power is why the ski resort was named as one of five ‘Champions of Snow’ by the Climate Action Business Association (CABA).
This is a Boston-based group founded in 2013 to help business leaders become more effective advocates for climate change action and set goals for reducing their own carbon footprints. The organization has about 100 member businesses, mostly from Massachusetts.
Berkshire East is one of five New England ski areas that are “tackling climate change and warmer winters head-on,” according to Jamie Garuti, CABA communications manager. ‘We were truly inspired by Berkshire East, as the only ski resort in the world to generate 100 percent of (its) electricity from onsite renewable energy,’ Garuti said.
In 2011, Berkshire East began running a 900-kilowatt-hour wind turbine. And a year later, Berkshire East leased a site to AllEarth Renewables to build an 1,800-panel, 500-kWh solar farm.
General Manager Jonathan Schaefer said the decision to install renewable energy systems at the family-run ski resort was a way for them to carry out their values and to be ‘as efficient and cost effective with our operations as possible.’
According to CABA, Berkshire East’s renewable energy systems have helped the resort to become more resilient and stay open longer than competitors when the warmer winter weather has shortened the ski season.
The wind turbine alone produces enough energy to power the mountain’s snow guns, which traditionally cost ski resorts a lot of money and produce carbon pollution. Schaefer said by using renewable energy, the cost of using snow guns is mitigated and Berkshire East is able to open the ski area earlier than other resorts.”