Since 2007, when Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort invested $4 million in the first 1.5 megawatt wind turbine to power a ski area in the Northeast, the business has been working to eliminate the unstable, expensive cost of power from the public grid.
The wind turbine cut their use of outside power by 33 percent, but that wasn't enough.
In 2012, EOS Ventures — a renewable energy development company owned by the same company that owns Jiminy Peak — installed a co-generation unit that generates 400 kilowatt hours of power annually while providing hot water for the Country Village Inn at the resort.
Last summer, a 2.4 megawatt solar array came online near Jiminy Peak that will boost the facility's use of renewable energy to roughly 80 percent of its needs at the time, putting it on the leading edge of ski resorts that use renewables to reduce their need for power from the public grid.
The solar array is saving the resort between $30,000 and $40,000 each year in the cost of electricity.
All through this process, crews had been installing low power lighting systems throughout the resort, and coming up with new procedures for reducing power usage.
This winter, for the first time, Jiminy Peak is at 100 percent renewable power, according to resort spokesperson Katie Fogel.
With the addition of LED lights on the night trails, the resort has been able to achieve net annual 100 percent renewable power. That is a significant feat, as ski resorts are among the heaviest users of electricity in the winter to power snowmaking, lighting, chair lifts, food service and heat.
"That puts [Jiminy Peak] right at the leading edge of ski areas engaged in renewable energy initiatives," said Michael Berry, president of the Colorado-based National Ski Areas Association, at the time the solar array was powered up. "Jiminy really does set the standard, in many ways, for the rest of the industry."