The Aspen Skiing Co. has announced its plan to spend $6 million dollars to harvest methane emissions from a coal mine in Somerset, Colorado, which will then be converted into renewable energy for the local grid. In a presentation at the Aspen Center for Environmental Studies (ACES) Forests at Risk Symposium, SkiCo president and CEO Mike Kaplan discussed what the project will entail, stating that it will eliminate three times the company's annual carbon emissions. Ski Co has teamed up with Holy Cross Energy, and Denver-based Vesells Coal Gas, and hopes to generate 25 million kilowatt hours — roughly equivalent to the four-mountain operation's annual energy use. Kaplan noted that the project is an example of what the snow industry can do to combat climate change, and should be embraced by other resorts across the west.
"Guess what? This can be replicated," he said, in remarks that bluntly addressed the bottom-line business sense of protecting forests and snow for his company and the ski industry. "Stop, think about those threats, look at opportunities like this, and see if we can't tackle this [climate change] problem at scale."
Methane missions from the plant are 23 times more potent than carbon dioxide, and go directly into the atmosphere. Ski Co plans to harness these emissions, so that they will instead be converted and put into the Holy Cross grid.
Kaplan called this, "the most exciting project I've ever been involved with.” For more details, check out the full article from Aspen daily news online