Wind-driven electricity powers Gore gondola for a day

The purchase was part of Sustainable Slopes Day, an event promoted by the National Ski Areas Association that helps create awareness about climate change and other environmental issues. Part of the event focused on renewable, environmentally friendly energy sources such as wind power and their importance to winter recreation venues such as Gore. Obviously, ski resorts have a lot at stake regarding climate change, said James McAndrew of Barton Mines. And ski resorts across the country are paying attention. Barton Mines purchase of energy to power the Gore Gondola enabled 5,000 kilowatt hours of wind-generated electricity to enter the local electric grid on behalf of Gore Mountain. The purchase resulted in an estimated environmental benefit equivalent to planting 440 trees or not driving 5,600 miles. The mining company is pursuing a plan to develop a wind energy park on a site adjacent to Gore Mountain Ski Resort with turbines capable of generating as much as 30 megawatts of power. As part of the Saturdays event, visitors to Gore had the opportunity to sign up to purchase some or all of the electricity for their homes from wind-generated sources through Community Energy, a renewable energy supplier . Community Energy does this annually, said Gore Public Relations and Events Manager Emily Stanton. But yesterday was their busiest day for signing up skiers to switch more electricity for their homes over to green power. Customers had the option of converting either 60 or 100 percent of their home to electricity generated by wind energy. The switch adds about $7 per month to the average home electric bill, Stanton said. Saturdays event found many willing to make the switch. It was a very successful tabling event for us, said Community Energy Business Development Director Linda Anne Burtis. Over 30 people signed up and several are already enrolled, from Pennsylvania to New York. A portion of Gores electric supply is routinely purchased from wind-generated sources, Stanton said.

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