Beaver Creek Resort

None of the 34 ski resorts owned by Vail are in Nebraska. But the company is investing in the state’s abundant wind power.

Vail has committed to buying 310,000 megawatt-hours of energy from the new Plum Creek Wind Farm in Wayne County. That’s enough to offset more than 90% of the electricity used at all of Vail’s North American resorts.

“Just to give you an idea of scale, it’s about 30,000 homes worth of power annually for 12 years,” says Kate Swayne Wilson, Vail’s senior director of sustainability.

She says the power purchase agreement helped bring the wind farm online this summer.

“So for us, it’s really important in our renewable strategy that we’re bringing new renewables to the grid,” she says.

And the project takes Vail Resorts close to the company’s goal of zero net emissions by 2030.

“And we’re really excited and proud of that,” Wilson says. “And we’re also looking at the local level of how can we engage in solar and wind and other renewables on the ground where our resorts are.”

She says for a ski company like Vail, protecting the environment is a necessity.

“The great outdoors is our business, and we feel like we have a special obligation to protect it,” she says.

So by investing in wind turbines in the Great Plains, Vail is reducing the climate impact of its high mountain resorts.

Reporting credit: Sarah Kennedy/ChavoBart Digital Media.