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Aspen Skiing, coal mine team on power plant

Associated Press Published: November 9, 2012
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ASPEN, Colo. (AP) — Aspen Skiing Co. and the owner of the Elk Creek Mine are cheering the opening of a $6 million plant that will turn methane emitted from the coal mine into electricity.

The ski company said earlier this year that it planned to explore how to produce power from gas that otherwise would be vented into the atmosphere from the mine. Mine operator Oxbow Mining LLC worked with the ski company, Vessels Coal Gas, Gunnison Energy and Holy Cross Energy to build the plant.

The 3-megawatt plant won't provide power to Aspen's mountains directly. But Aspen Skiing Co. said Friday that it will produce enough electricity to meet the needs of 2,000 homes, or the equivalent of the ski company's entire operations,, including four ski mountains, three hotels and 17 restaurants.