This week Aspen/Snowmass made American business history by being the first company in the U.S. to partner with a mine to create clean energy. This groundbreaking project at the Elk Creek Mine in Somerset, Colo. generates three-megawatts of power annually – which is the same amount of energy that Aspen Skiing Company uses in a year.
Auden Schendler, Vice President of Sustainability, Aspen Skiing Company, chimes in on why this unexpected partnership matters to the ski/snowboard industry.
“If we’re trying to be green, we have to do something about our energy use. This is real, big-scale, clean energy production,” says Schendler. “We have to start to think creatively about how we get energy or we’re going to fail to solve climate change. “
Science behind the project
In short, this $6 million investment in technology is similar to a large truck engine that runs on methane rather than diesel. The methane – a gas and a byproduct of a coal mine – is captured and piped into a 16 cylinder engine. The methane is then burned to produce electricity that is fed into the electric grid.