Skiers sitting in a chair lift in Park City, Utah. Photo: EyesWideOpen via Getty Images

Last ski season, Vermont's Bromley ski resort, winner of the 2017 Energy Leadership award, installed low-energy snowmaking guns to optimize snow production while reducing energy waste. The new low-energy guns can operate at 10 cents per hour, compared to older versions' $10 per hour.

The big picture: The ski industry is increasingly embracing new innovations in energy-efficient technology — combined with existing technologies such as wind and solar energy and LED lighting — to reduce its carbon footprint and improve its bottom line.

Ski resorts consume a great deal of energy during peak seasons to operate chair lifts, make snow and power vehicles and on-site lighting. Using renewables allows ski resorts to reallocate utilities funds for other amenities.

Background: Berkshire East ski resort, a family-owned ski area in western Massachusetts, became the only ski area in the world to generate 100% of its electricity on-site in 2011. The resort uses a 900 kilowatt-hour wind turbine and an 1,800-panel, 500 kilowatt-hour solar farm. The sustainability efforts have helped stabilize the resort's electrical expenses for the next 30 years, along with an ROI within 5 years based on avoided costs.

Several other ski resorts are planning to become more sustainable, and even to generate a large percentage of their energy on site.

What to watch: Roughly 75% of U.S. ski resorts have incorporated renewable programs, with many announcing commitments to transition to 100% clean and renewable energy in the next few years. More energy-efficient ski operations will help save on energy production and use while building a more eco-friendly brand.  

Maggie Teliska is a technical specialist at Caldwell Intellectual Property Law, an intellectual property law firm. She is also a member of GLG, a platform connecting businesses with industry experts.

Go deeper

Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

  1. Politics: Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus — COVID-19 looms over White House Halloween celebrations
  2. Health: Fauci says maybe we should mandate masks if people don't wear them — America was sick well before it ever got COVID-19
  3. World: Polish President Andrzej Duda tests positive for COVID-19.

Pence chief of staff Marc Short tests positive for coronavirus

Marc Short with Katie Miller, Vice President Pence's communications director, in March. Photo: Doug Mills/The New York Times via Reuters

Marc Short, Vice President Mike Pence’s chief of staff, tested positive for the coronavirus Saturday and is quarantining, according to a White House statement.

Why it matters: Short is Pence's closest aide, and was one of the most powerful forces on the White House coronavirus task force.

5 hours ago - World

Opposition leader Leopoldo López flees Venezuela

Venezuelan opposition politician Leopoldo López outside the Spanish embassy in Caracas, in 2019. Photo: Juan Barreto/AFP via Getty Images

Leopoldo López, a former political prisoner and prominent Venezuelan opposition leader, has left the country, his Popular Will party confirmed in a statement Saturday.

Why it matters: He's been an influential force in the push to oust President Nicolás Maduro's regime and a mentor to opposition leader Juan Guaidó. He'd been in the Spanish ambassador's Caracas residence since escaping house arrest in April 2019 following a failed military uprising.