Massachusetts Ski Resort Expands Sustainability Efforts

HANCOCK, Mass. — Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, the largest ski and snowboard resort in southern New England, will soon add a 2.3-megawatt, 7,502-panel community solar facility to its 12-acre property. The project, which will likely come online this fall, significantly expands Jiminy Peak’s renewable energy program, while extending the environmental and cost-saving benefits of solar to up to 200 neighboring homes and small businesses.

Designed by Nexamp, a solar energy solutions provider with five locations throughout the region, the new installation will add to green and sustainable systems already in place at the resort. Earlier this year, Nexamp acquired the development rights for the project from EOS Ventures, a renewable energy company also based in Hancock that focuses on wind, solar and cogeneration projects, according to a statement.

Jiminy Peak, located in the Berkshires, is already home to a 1.5-megawatt wind turbine erected in 2007 and a 75-kWh cogeneration unit added in 2012, and conservation efforts have been integrated into various operations. Together with this new solar installation, the resort estimates it will be able to offset 90 percent of its total energy needs from local renewable resources, making it one of the greenest resorts of its kind in the nation, according to a statement. . The Resort was the first in North America to generate power from its own 1.5 MW wind turbine, which helps power not only ski- and snowboard-related operations, but also the resort’s suites, vacation homes, condominiums and event spaces. The solar array is expected to save the resort up to $40,000 annually.

“It’s important to us that we operate our resort as good neighbors and good stewards of the environment, which is why we’ve worked so hard to leverage as many renewable energy sources as we can,” said Tyler Fairbank, CEO of Jiminy Peak Mountain Resort, in a statement. “We are particularly thrilled to be adding solar energy into the mix in such a way that the neighboring community can benefit from the facility, too.”

Upon completion, the project will also serve as the largest community solar project of its kind in the Northeast, allowing nearby residents, non-profits and small businesses to directly benefit from the project through Nexamp’s Solarize My Bill community solar program. According to Nexamp, program participants will receive 15 percent savings on their electricity generated by the project with no cost to enroll.

“Solar is truly a community investment,” said Zaid Ashai, CEO of Nexamp, in a statement. “Smart policies like net metering in Massachusetts allow us to work with great partners like Jiminy Peak to meet their sustainability goals, provide local jobs and infrastructure investment, and deliver significant energy savings to neighboring consumers. Leveraging commercial-scale solar facilities to benefit communities is how we’re going to build a stronger, smarter, and more efficient energy economy in Massachusetts and beyond.”