Sugarloaf/USA and Sunday River have decided to offset all of their electricity usage with energy generated from wind, the resorts announced Tuesday.
Together, the resorts are now the largest purchaser and consumer of wind power in New England, they said.
Under the new plan, the resorts are purchasing 30 million kilowatt hours of energy credits from Constellation NewEnergy, offsetting the amount of fossil-fuel generated power they use. Buying energy credits supports the generation of wind power and has the environmental impact of indirectly reducing the emissions from power plants.
The decision will effectively keep more than 41 million pounds of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere, the equivalent of the emissions from 3,600 passenger cars each year.
Carbon dioxide from fossil fuel burning is the primary man-made contributor to climate change, a phenomenon that is projected to reduce snowfalls and threaten the long-term viability of the ski industry. Shawnee Peak in Bridgton was the first Maine ski resort to buy wind energy credits to offset its electricity usage.