BOYNE FALLS — As part of its long-term goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, Boyne Resorts unveiled its first solar project at Boyne Mountain Resort on Wednesday. The solar panel was completed in November 2021 and was able to generate electricity on February 2, 2022.
“(The project) represents a pilot program for us as a company and for (Consumers Energy), on how we can collaborate across North America to generate on-site energy through the use solar energy,” said Stephen Kircher, CEO of Boyne Resorts. .
“We are delighted with the first step and we have a long history of working with (Consumers Energy). They have helped us significantly reduce energy consumption over the past few years. And it’s just a great communication collaboration between our two organizations.
The project was done in conjunction with Consumers Energy and is expected to produce 410 watts, enough to power more than 300 homes and condos. According to communications director Erin Ernst, the solar panel is expected to produce about 19% of the station’s energy needs.
In an email, Ernst said the project would save more than 2.2 million pounds of carbon every year, the equivalent of 220 cars.
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“I couldn’t be more excited about the partnership we have with Boyne. Steve and Ed’s leadership and Project Forever, what they’re doing for Michigan and beyond. That’s the kind of thing that excites me. gets out of bed every day It has that kind of impact,” Consumers Energy President Brian Hartman said at the groundbreaking ceremony.
“We talk a lot at (Consumers Energy) about people, planet and prosperity and I think this solar panel is an amazing example of what it’s all about. I’m so proud to be a part of it. So excited to have a partner like our friends from Boyne here and just inspired by the leadership that I see.”
Consumers Energy’s solar panels are designed to continue producing power when the sun reflects off the snow, which means the panels should still produce power during the long winter months of Northern Michigan. They also use batteries to store electricity during times when the sun is not shining.
The solar field isn’t Boyne Resort’s first dive into sustainable energy. The hydroelectric dam on Dam Road in Boyne Falls has been generating power for the station for decades and the company is currently in the process of renewing the project’s license to continue operating for another 30-40 years. According to Ed Grice, president of the Boyne Mountain Resort, the dam produces 8 to 10 percent of the resort’s power.
“(The solar field) provides up to 19% of our energy load,” Grice said on Wednesday. “That, coupled with our hydroelectric dam, providing eight to 10% of our needs, our improved lighting, the insulation of some of our older buildings, the continued investment in our snowmaking projects and technology with our snow guns low (energy) and our automated snowmaking systems enable us to meet those 2030 goals. We have a long way to go, but I am confident in our team at Boyne and our partners at (Consumers Energy) that we will get there.
Boyne Resorts has 13 properties; 12 in the United States and one in Canada. The company hopes to complete similar sustainable energy projects at its other sites while expanding the attractions of its properties.