Aspen: City and area residents debating the benefits and possible streamflow loss of proposed hydroelectric facility

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From the Associated Press via The Aspen Times via the Grand Junction Free Press:

City officials are taking public comments on the proposal and say a more comprehensive review is possible if there is enough concern or there are issues they haven’t considered. Aspen wants to build a 1,880-square-foot hydropower plant that would draw water from Castle and Maroon creeks to generate electricity. The 1.05 megawatt plant is expected to increase production of electricity by 5.5 million kilowatt hours annually. That would provide energy for several hundred households. City officials say getting that much electricity from a renewable source would eliminate an estimated 5,167 tons of carbon dioxide emissions from coal-fired power for a 0.6 percent communitywide decrease.

Some area residents, however, are concerned about the potential effects on wildlife and water rights if too much water is diverted from the creeks. Paul Noto, an Aspen-based water attorney, who represents several residents who live along Castle Creek, said if Aspen touts itself as an environmental leader, it ought to submit the project to a full environmental review.

More hydroelectric coverage here and here.

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