Solar Sponsored Skiing


The Mt. Abram Ski Area in Maine is helping to lead the charge in renewable energy powered skiing.

This fall, the small family owned resort invested nearly a million dollars on an acre of over 800 solar panels to offset their electricity cost. The U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Energy for America Program tax credits were utilized providing a 25 percent matching grant.  The energy savings are expected to pay back the investment within five years.

Mt. Abram’s energy efficient snow guns

After a devastating fire ravaged the main lodge in 2011, insurance was said to have paid out over a million dollars in damages. This rebuilding period has given the mountain the opportunity to take this new direction in power consumption. The energy produced will take 70% of the area’s electricity load. This is second to Berkshire East which operates 100% on wind and solar energy.

In addition to the solar panels, Mt. Abram is implementing other ways to reduce the mountains ecological impact.

The lodge is heated with wood pellets, chargers for electric cars can be reserved, energy efficient snow guns, and “Carload Friday” allow everyone sharing a ride to ski for $79.

Electricity, diesel fuel, and propane use a quarter of Abram’s million-dollar annual budget. By incorporating renewable energy, Mt. Abram is presenting a two-fold win-win situation. First, in reducing a quarter (at the least) of the operating budget, it improves viability for smaller (and larger) ski areas. Second, renewable energy significantly reduces a ski area’s environmental impact.

This model is catching on.

Recently, Killington Mountain Resort in Vermont was praised in it’s efforts to bring renewable energy to the mountain.

“We have to learn how to live lighter,” said Curt Spalding, the EPA’s New England regional administrator, to NECN.

About Author

Marc is the founder of The Crux Collective. In addition to playing in the mountains, he loves media creation. His vision for Crux Collective is to bring a fresh, modern approach to our outdoor world. Marc is based out of Albuquerque, New Mexico. Twitter: @brewingdigital

Miss the news this week?

Get the best (and worst). Delivered to your inbox weekly.