Vail Resorts says it’s near its renewable energy goals
Vail Resorts reports the company taken a major step toward its 100% renewable electricity goal as a new large-scale wind farm, enabled by the company, has gone online.
Vail Resorts has committed to purchase 310,000 megawatt hours of wind energy annually from the new 82-turbine Plum Creek Wind project, which will address more than 90% of the company’s current electricity use across its 34 North American resorts. As a part of Vail Resorts’ “Commitment to Zero” sustainability pledge, the company has a goal to reach 100% renewable electricity by 2030.
Vail Resorts in 2018 announced a partnership with global renewable energy leader Ørsted to enable the Plum Creek Wind project, based in Wayne County, Nebraska. The amount of wind energy Vail Resorts committed to purchase was equivalent to 100% of the company’s North American electricity usage at the time. Since then, the company has acquired 17 smaller ski areas in the U.S. and now has resorts across 15 states and three countries.
This virtual power purchase agreement was the first of its kind to be executed by a Colorado-based company as a buyer. Virtual Power Purchase Agreements have been widely recognized as one of the most effective ways geographically diverse companies can bring more renewable energy to the grid.
“We are incredibly proud to enable Ørsted’s Plum Creek Wind project and to support the generation of new renewable energy,” said Rob Katz, CEO of Vail Resorts, in a news release. “This wind energy agreement addresses the majority of the emissions associated with our company’s electricity use. We are thrilled with this progress and remain committed to achieving our 100% renewable electricity goal, even as our company grows.”
In addition to the Plum Creek Wind project, Vail Resorts supports renewable energy efforts in the communities in which it operates. At a local level, Vail Resorts is a sponsor of Xcel Energy’s new solar energy facility in Colorado through the Renewable Connect program.
Vail Resorts’ Commitment to Zero pledge is to reach a zero net operating footprint by 2030. This commitment includes zero net emissions, which includes 100% renewable electricity, zero waste to landfill and zero net operating impact to forests and habitat. Vail Resorts annually reports on progress around Commitment to Zero in its EpicPromise Progress Report. The 2020 Progress Report will be released in October. Find the 2019 Progress Report here.