New York Governor Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on March 4 that three Empire State-owned ski resorts – Belleayre Ski Resort, Gore Mountain, and Whiteface Mountain – have pledged to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
The resorts have joined The Climate Reality Project, “I Am Pro Snow – 100% Committed” to help stop climate change and dump “dirty fossil fuels.” Founded by Nobel Laureate and former US Vice President Al Gore, The Climate Reality Project is dedicated to mobilizing action on the climate crisis
The 100% Committed initiative corresponds with Governor Cuomo’s Clean Energy Standard, launched last August, which requires that half of all electricity used statewide come from renewable sources by 2030.
The New York State FY 2018 Executive Budget includes a proposed $20 million upgrade to the facilities at Whiteface and Gore Mountains, in order to support the region’s burgeoning tourism industry, and an additional $8 million for upgrades at Belleayre Ski Center this year.
“Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface are key drivers of their local tourism economies and, with this commitment, they are joining New York’s nation-leading efforts to fight climate change, reduce our carbon footprint and foster the development of renewable resources,” Governor Cuomo commented in a formal statement, adding, “This commitment to New York’s future, along with landmark new state investments in these facilities, will help ensure these resorts’ continued vitality for generations to come.”
“The Climate Reality Project … is proud to partner with the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority’s managed ski areas: Belleayre, Gore and Whiteface,” said CRP CEO Ken Berlin. “Recognizing the devastating impact the climate crisis will have on snow, the turn these ski areas are making toward solutions brings us all hope. Our community of renewable partners grows each day, and we can’t wait to see who joins us next.”
New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority interim CEO Mike Pratt stated, “As leaders in the ski industry, it is our responsibility to be stewards of the environment. Over the past several years, each of ORDA’s managed ski resorts have taken steps toward becoming even more environmentally friendly and efficient. We have done this through our modernizing snowmaking systems and lifts’ drives. We have also modernized our building systems and lighting. Lastly, we are purchasing renewable power and have a 5.3-MWdc solar PPA.”
Established in 1982, the New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority was created by the State of New York to manage the facilities used during the 1980 Olympic Winter Games at Lake Placid. ORDA operates Whiteface, Belleayre and Gore Mountain ski areas; the Olympic Sports Complex at Mt. Van Hoevenberg; the Olympic speed skating oval, Olympic jumping complex and Olympic arena.