As of this October, Arapahoe Basin is now operating with 100% renewable electricity and mitigating over 2/3rds of the resort’s carbon emissions.
This major achievement was made possible by partnerships with Xcel Energy and many community partners, including Jack’s Solar Farm in Longmont, Colorado.
“We are so excited to be sourcing all of our electricity from renewable sources. So many A-Basin projects benefit from utilizing renewable electricity to make them go,” said Mike Nathan, Sustainability Manager at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, “I’m especially excited to continue growing our electric vehicle charging infrastructure, knowing that those guest trips to the ski area are now 100% fueled by carbon-free, clean electricity.”
By sourcing 100% of the ski area’s electricity from renewable sources, A-Basin has achieved a key milestone in reaching the resort’s pledge to be carbon neutral by 2025. By utilizing numerous onsite solar arrays, community solar farms, subscription-based utility programs, and Xcel Energy’s unwavering commitment to its own clean energy transition, A-Basin has achieved this monumental goal well ahead of schedule.
“This accomplishment goes to show how sustainability is at the forefront of our minds and baked into everything we do here,” said Alan Henceroth, COO of Arapahoe Basin Ski Area, “Thanks to all that work every day from our employees, guests, and community partners alike, we’re making incredible progress towards our Carbon Neutrality goal.”
Electricity is the main source of energy Arapahoe Basin uses to run the ski area. Now, all of the electricity that ski area uses for snowmaking, chairlifts, buildings, and electric vehicle chargers will run using 100% renewable. All of this has been achieved by partnerships with Xcel Energy’s Renewable Connect, Renewable Connect Flex, Certified Renewable Percentage, and Jack’s Solar Farm, in addition to A-Basin’s on-site solar panels.
Carbon Nuetral by 2025
In 2018, Arapahoe Basin pledged to be carbon neutral by 2025. The success of reaching 100% renewable electricity exemplifies the resort’s sustainability efforts being broad, company-wide, and intentionally built into the culture and business. By conserving and limiting resource use, protecting spectacular natural surroundings, and working hard to educate guests and staff alike, A-Basin is finding ways to walk lighter on the planet – even in ski and snowboard boots.
Contributing Programs & Projects Information
Xcel Energy, Renewable Connect: Program for businesses to source Photo Voltaic solar electricity generated at a large solar farm in Deer Path, CO. This contributes to 20% of A-Basin’s total renewable energy use since subscribing in 2018.
Xcel Energy, Renewable Connect Flex: Program to source renewable electricity generated by wind and solar projects in Xcel Energy’s Colorado service territory. This contributes to 46.4% of A-Basin’s total renewable energy use since 2023.
Xcel Energy, Certified Renewable Percentage (CRP): Xcel Energy has pledged to reduce CO2 emissions by 80% by 2030 (from 2005 levels) and deliver 100% carbon-free energy by 2050. In 2022, Xcel Energy’s grid was 42% renewable electricity. This contributes to 33.6% of A-Basin’s total renewable energy use.
Jack’s Solar Garden: Located in Longmont, Jack’s is a leading researcher and developer of agrivoltaics. Agrivoltaics is the practice of utilizing the solar farm’s footprint to grow produce and raise livestock under and around the solar panels themselves. They support their community by donating a portion of the clean electricity to low-income households and by partnering with a local non-profit to donate some food. Part of Xcel Energy’s Community Solar Program, this project contributes to Xcel Energy’s CRP and 7% of A-Basin's total renewable energy usage.
A-Basin On-site Renewables: A-Basin is committed to adding PV solar to any feasible building project. Since 2015, three significant grid-tied arrays, plus numerous small off-grid systems, have been installed. Today, A-Basin has more than 30 kW of PV solar capacity. Enrolled in Xcel Energy’s Solar Rewards Program, which incentivizes these projects through cost-saving credits on utility bills, these projects contribute to Xcel Energy’s CRP. ~1% of A-Basin’s total electricity usage is generated onsite.
The sources of this electricity and these 100% calculations can be broken down into two main groups: those whose RECs belong to A-Basin and those whose RECs belong to Xcel Energy. RECs from Renewable Connect and Renewable Connect Flex projects belong to A-Basin. RECs associated with Xcel Energy’s Certified Renewable Percentage (CRP), including those generated by projects enrolled in the Solar Rewards and Community Solar programs, like on-site and Jack’s Solar Garden arrays, belong to Xcel Energy. Supporting projects in these programs helps Xcel Energy add more renewables to the grid and grow its CRP.