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Jiminy Peak Wind Turbine Turns 10, Resort Now Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy

Jiminy Peak,Wind Turbine, Renewable Energy,Jiminy Peak Wind Turbine Turns 10, Resort Now Powered by 100 Percent Renewable Energy

 

  In 2007, when Jiminy Peak installed a $4 million 1.5 megawatt (MW) wind turbine on the western flank of its mountain, many thought the 70-year-old resort was taking a huge financial risk.

  Last month, 10 years after the switch was thrown, Brian Fairbank, Chairman of The Fairbank Group that runs the resort, looks back at a risk worth taking. The 253-ft. high turbine paid for itself in seven years, and today, combined with a 12-acre 2.3 megawatt (MW) solar field and 75 kWh cogeneration unit at the slopeside Country Inn at Jiminy Peak, the resort can claim to be one of the few in the United States powered 100 percent by renewable energy.

  When asked whether a second turbine is planned, Fairbank explained they already have all the electricity they need.

  “We’re now focusing on drastically reducing our carbon footprint and greenhouse gas emissions,” he said. “Conservation is the most cost-effective form of energy use reduction, cost control and containment.”

  The installation of the turbine was met with great fanfare, with music, flags, and speeches. Rotor bearings were replaced about 45 days into its service life, but since then, the turbine has run without major issues.

  Today, the “Zephyr,” as it’s nicknamed, is the first megawatt-size turbine at a ski resort and remains the largest. It has become a symbol of the resort, as much as the barn is to Steamboat Ski Area, or the snowfields are to Sugarloaf. Zephyr is also a social media star, a veritable selfie magnet, with a strong online presence. Employees wear turbine pins and school groups visit to tour the site and view an educational documentary called “Forever Green.”



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