Heavenly’s parent company commits to 100 percent wind power | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Heavenly’s parent company commits to 100 percent wind power

Amanda Fehd

Heavenly Mountain Resort’s parent company Vail Resorts announced today it will offset 100 percent of its energy use by purchasing nearly 152,000 megawatt-hours of wind energy annually for its five mountain resorts, its lodging properties, all of its 125 retail locations and its new corporate headquarters in Broomfield, Colo.

Vails follows in the footsteps of companies with large purchasing power like Whole Foods who have have made the move to wind power in the last few years. Sugar Bowl north of Tahoe has purchased 100 percent renewable energy for several years. Aspen Ski Co. in Colorado announced this spring it would buy 100 percent renewable energy.

The move will avoid over 211 million pounds of carbon dioxide emissions, which is equivalent to taking 18,000 cars off the road or planting over 27,000 acres of trees, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

“This will have really big ripple effects,” said Autumn Bernstein with Sierra Nevada Alliance, a coalition of environmental organizations that issues a Ski Area Score Card each year.

“Every time one of these big companies purchases renewable energy, it lowers the price and makes it more possible for everyone else to do it,” she said. “They will definitely win some big points for doing this in the scorecard.”

Vail is also encouraging its customers to participate by purchasing a year’s worth of wind power from Boulder-based Renewable Choice Energy. Those who sign up through Renewable Choice for wind power in a home, apartment or dorm room for one year will receive a free one-day ski lift ticket, valid all season long at any of Vail’s five mountain resorts ” Vail, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Keystone and Heavenly ” during the 2006-2007 winter season.

By purchasing renewable energy credits equal to the company’s entire electricity use, Vail Resorts said it is now the second largest purchaser of wind power of all corporations in the United States.

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