Lake Tahoe ski resort in California will be America's first to operate entirely on green energy, with Squaw Valley Alpine Meadows, the corporation which owns it, working with electricity utility Liberty Utilities to create new solutions to green energy generation, efficiency and storage. The outputs will directly benefit the two resorts at Lake Tahoe and the whole area of the Olympic Valley.
Squaw Valley's COO and president, Andy Wirth, said that solar energy had become highly accessible after plummeting in price, allowing the ski resort to make a decision based on sound economics as well as sustainability for the long term. He said that the company was happy to make a strategic decision to switch to entirely renewable energy.
Once it has secured its total energy needs from renewable sources, Squaw Valley also expects to cut its carbon footprint by half. This means that its CO2 emissions will drop to around 6,682 metric tonnes from the current level of 13,078, which is a 49pc reduction. The equivalent saving would be enough to provide annual electricity to nearly 1000 homes.
Currently, Lake Tahoe ski resort uses a combination of 75pc natural gas and 25pc renewable energy. By sourcing only green energy alternatives, the resort will enjoy a significant scale-up in its eco credentials, and the milestone is expected to be reached this December.
Jeremy Jones, the legendary snowboarder and green activist, welcomed the news, saying that he hoped it would inspire other resorts and mountain towns to welcome renewable energy alternatives as a necessary alternative to fossil fuels. The move isn't the first that Lake Tahoe has made to improve its environmental footprint: the resort has already banned single-use plastic cups and bottles and is encouraging carpool and rideshare programmes to minimise vehicle emissions.