Okemo & Crested Butte go green

Thu 24 August 06

The owners have purchased 27 million kilowatt hours of renewable energy, enough to run their resorts for a year as part of a big drive this year to go green

Tim and Diane Mueller, owners of Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado, Okemo Mountain Resort in Vermont and Mount Sunapee Resort, in New Hampshire, have entered into an agreement with Gunnison County Electric Association to purchase Renewable Energy Certificates from Sterling Planet, the nation's leading retail renewable energy provider. Demonstrating their commitment to environmental stewardship, the Muellers are purchasing 27 million kilowatt hours of Sterling Planet's Renewable Energy Certificates from Gunnison County Electric Association, a member-owned, non-profit cooperative located in Colorado. This represents enough renewable power to fully offset the annual use of electricity by the Mueller's three resorts.

"Protection of the environment is one of our core values. It is also very important to our guests," says Tim Mueller. "We have the ability to demonstrate that Okemo, Mount Sunapee and Crested Butte are good community and corporate citizens working toward energy independence for America through clean, renewable sources like wind energy."

This purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates will supply the Muellers' three resorts with enough energy to power all electrical needs for the next year. It will save an estimated 18,800 tons of carbon dioxide from being released into the atmosphere. This is equivalent to emissions produced by the annual electricity consumption of approximately 2,200 average homes or carbon dioxide emissions associated with the combustion of 1.9 million gallons of gasoline.

Additionally, the Muellers will participate in Sterling Planet's innovative program, Investment for the Greater Good, a collaborative partnership between the Colorado Governor's Office of Energy Management and Conservation, and Sterling Planet, to reinvest in Colorado-based renewable energy resources.

"We believe in investing in our future, the environment and reducing our nation's dependency on foreign oil. It's the right thing to do," said Mueller. "We will be paying a ten percent premium on the purchase amount of renewable energy certificates for Crested Butte to promote Colorado wind energy development."

The benefits of this purchase extend far beyond the environment, according to Mel Jones, president and CEO of Sterling Planet. "Buying RECs also boosts energy diversity, stimulates the renewable energy market and benefits local economies in the vicinity of renewable energy generators," he said. "Sterling Planet is pleased to team with the Muellers, offering a way to demonstrate their environmental leadership and establish a model precedent."

"Rob Perlman, president and CEO of Colorado Ski Country USA, the trade association for the state's ski industry, says, "Colorado ski resorts are committed to being active leaders in the industry. Crested Butte is setting an excellent example of environmental consciousness. I think it is especially telling when you see family-owned operations like the Mueller's joining the ranks of Fortune 500 companies in embracing clean and renewable energy. In total, Colorado-based ski operators will purchase more than 200,000 mega watt hours of wind energy just this year alone; that's the equivalent of removing more than 33,000 cars from the roads. It goes to show you that together we really can all make a difference."

The Muellers' purchase of Renewable Energy Certificates is just one example of their commitment to community, the environment and energy independence.

[from official press release]

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