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Squaw Valley Installs System Powered by Tesla Batteries

OLYMPIC VALLEY (CBS/AP) -- California's Olympic Valley plans to enlist Tesla's help in its push to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Batteries produced by the luxury electric car company are set to be installed near the top of the Gold Coast aerial tramway at the Squaw Valley Ski Resort.

Liberty Utilities is planning to install a power storage facility with enough batteries to provide four to six hours of electricity to the valley near Lake Tahoe. The batteries will serve as a backup power system should outages occur, and the facility will also assist in easing fluctuations in the electrical grid, officials said.

The batteries would be owned by the utility but on the resort's property.

Before the batteries can be installed, the plan requires approval from the California Public Utilities Commission and Placer County.

The plan coincides with efforts by the resort owner and the utility to have the valley powered solely by renewable energy by the end of the year.

"Our customers have continuously told us they want safe, reliable and clean energy," said Greg Sorensen, the utility's regional president. "The time to move to renewables is now, not generations from now."

Under a plan to reach that goal, the utility has agreed to add renewable energy projects to supply the valley and its resorts. The plan is expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions in the area by nearly 6,400 metric tons each year.

With a business centered on winter sports tourism, Squaw Valley Ski Holdings CEO Andy Wirth said the effects of global warming are worrying.

"As somebody who works very closely with Mother Nature, we are very tuned in to the vagaries and realities of climate change," Wirth said. "We have certainly seen that here in this region, warm dry winters, violent winters like we saw last year."

© Copyright 2018 Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed

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