- Because hydropower is a local energy source, there is no loss of electricity through long distance transmission lines which average a 7% loss nationwide.
- Aspen is located at a dead end of the Colorado electric grid. Local hydroelectric power is available in the event transmission lines or the grid fail.
- The CCEC will be connected to the underground electric distribution system and less susceptible to storm events. In a storm event, the CCEC can provide power to emergency shelters such as the Aspen Recreation Center or schools. Moreover, barring severe drought, power production from the CCEC should be steady and virtually continuous.
- More than 120 years after Aspen’s first kilowatt of hydro energy sparked onto the Aspen electrical grid, the Ruedi and Maroon Creek plants continue to prove that hydropower is an ideal energy source for Aspen.
The CCEC will guarantee these same benefits for another 75 years into the future.
Both the Ruedi and Maroon Creek plants have proven to be huge successes — environmentally and financially, while increasing the long-term security of Aspen’s energy supply because they are local power sources.
- With the CCEC running at full capacity, Aspen's carbon footprint will be reduced by 5,200 tons of CO2 each year (equivalent to taking 908 vehicles off the road each year).
Protecting River Ecology:
- The City of Aspen and the Colorado Division of Parks and Wildlife have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding establishing a comprehensive stream monitoring and adaptive management regime that will protect the fisheries and stream habitat on Castle and Maroon Creeks when the Castle Creek plant comes online.
- The CCEC is projected to provide hundreds of thousansds in yearly cost savings vs. wholesale purchased power.
- Local hydropower eliminates wheeling charges and long-distance transmission losses.
Base load is the minimum power necessary to meet customer demands at any given time. It is energy that must be there when a customer turns on a computer, lights, or refrigerator whether or not the sun is shining or the wind is blowing. Coal has been the traditional base load power supply.
Without sufficient levels of locally produced renewable energy, Aspen cannot provide reliable, clean and sustainable base load to the system into the future, and must instead rely upon supplemental purchases of costly, and non-local sources of energy which can be dirty or unreliable.
CCEC Energy is More Affordable:
- Aspen pays $0.067/kwh for its wind purchases currently, and this increases every year based on inflation. The lifetime average cost of CCEC energy is projected to be considerably less.
- Local hydropower from the CCEC is always on. Base load energy sources must be constant and reliable—wind and solar are neither.
- Wind turbines only last between 15 and 20 years on average (CCEC will last 75 years).
- There is uncertainty surrounding long-term maintenance, upkeep, and cost stability associated with wind energy.
Disappearing Federal Subsidies:
- Subsidies have provided as much as 20% of wind energy project costs over the past 10 years.
- The City must pay the Municipal Energy Agency of Nebraska (MEAN) and various owners of transmission/distribution lines to wheel the energy to us over great distances. These great distances incur transmission line energy losses (7% is national average).
For questions and comments, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 970-920-5110.