Lincoln Clean Energy Inks Long-Term Wind Energy Contract

Written By: Jen Neville
December 12, 2018

wind ptc components

Vail Resorts, Inc. recently took major steps in its ‘Commitment to Zero,’ as the Company announced a long-term wind energy contract to purchase the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 100 percent of its estimated FY 2019 North American operations by 2020.

“As a growing company, deeply connected to the outdoors, we made a commitment last year to address our most pressing global and environmental challenges and protect our local communities and natural resources,” stated Rob Katz, chairman and chief executive officer of Vail Resorts. “We are thrilled to announce significant initiatives that will help us achieve our zero net emissions and provide a transparent look at our progress."

The Company’s multimillion-dollar wind energy virtual power purchase agreement (VPPA) enables the development of the Plum Creek Wind Project, which is expected to be completed in 2020. Under the 12-year agreement, Vail Resorts is purchasing 310,000 megawatt hours annually – enough wind energy to reduce the emissions associated with the Company’s estimated FY 2019 North American electricity use by 100 percent, which includes the recent acquisitions of four additional resorts. That is also the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 30,000 average U.S. homes each year.

The Company’s agreement with Lincoln Clean Energy, a subsidiary of Ørsted and a developer of U.S. renewables, is the first of its kind to be executed by a Colorado-based company as a buyer and will make Vail Resorts the first major company in the hospitality industry to achieve 100 percent renewable electricity for its North American electricity load with a VPPA.

Schneider Electric Energy & Sustainability Services served as a strategic advisor to Vail Resorts on the selection of the Plum Creek project.

“I applaud Vail Resort’s commitment to a zero net operating footprint. The Plum Creek Wind project not only helps them to deliver on this goal but will also result in millions of dollars in local community benefits where the project is being developed,” added Declan Flanagan, CEO of Lincoln Clean Energy.

“This agreement is just one of many ways Vail Resorts is working to be an industry leader in preserving the environment by bringing more renewable energy online,” stated Katz. “While we continually work with local, state and federal governments and utility partners to find ways to source renewable energy in the markets where our individual resorts are located, this wind power purchase agreement allows us to make a measurable impact on climate change – and its effect on the planet – within just a few years.”

On a local level, Vail Resorts recently signed a contract with Xcel Energy in Colorado to support a new solar energy facility, and is sponsoring Rocky Mountain Power’s request for proposal for 308,000 MWh of renewable energy, which could lead to a significant increase in the amount of solar, wind, and geothermal projects in Utah.

Additionally, the Company has invested $2.4 million in energy efficiency projects across its resorts over the last year.

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