Governor Cuomo announces solar energy to power area ski mountains

ALBANY, N.Y. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced today that the three state operated ski resorts at Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface Mountain have committed to using solar power to operate their ski lift and snowmaking operations.

“By using renewable energy to power major operations at these world-class ski resorts, we are making the region a cleaner and greener place for people to live and work,” Governor Cuomo said. “This is a perfect example of how our administration is jumpstarting 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.”

The 25-year power purchase agreement with Borrego Solar is the most recent of several environmental initiatives the state and ORDA have undertaken to run its business units with increased sustainability and efficiency.  It is also in keeping with Governor Cuomo’s Reforming the Energy Vision’s NY-Sun initiative, a $1-billion initiative to advance the scale-up of solar and move the state closer to having sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry as New York builds a clean, resilient and affordable energy system.

Gore Mountain is home to the most skiable terrain and largest lift infrastructure in New York State, and its massive snowmaking system, lift operations, and other electrical equipment use about 13-million kilowatt hours of power and cost approximately $1-million in utility costs each year.  The solar energy for Gore, produced at a location in Washington County, is expected to reduce Gore’s energy bill by over $213,000 during the first year. Borrego’s projections indicate that the three ski resorts could save as much $14-million over the 25-year period, utilizing more than 10 megawatts of solar power.

The solar projects received support from NY-Sun through the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), which administers the initiative.

“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.  “We want to make sure that this wonderful recreational sport stays around for generations to come.”

Under NY-Sun, the growth of solar in New York State has increased more than 300-percent from 2011 to 2014, which is twice the rate of U.S. solar growth overall. A total of 314.48 megawatts of solar electric was installed as of December 2014 across the state, equivalent to powering more than 51,000 homes. 

In addition to project support, NY-Sun also supports Community Solar NY, K-Solar and Shared Renewables. For information about NY-Sun, visit ny-sun.ny.gov.

For more information about Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface and all of the activities and events that take place on ORDA’s venues, visit www.whitefacelakeplacid.com.

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