Citizens can weigh in on hydroplant |

Citizens can weigh in on hydroplant

ASPEN ” City officials want citizens to weigh in on a proposed $5.1 million hydroelectric plant that would be built along Castle Creek if approved by voters in November.

A neighborhood meeting on the proposed Castle Creek Hydroelectric Power facility is scheduled for Wednesday, Oct. 17 from 5 to 7 p.m. Although there are no conceptual drawings currently, there will be general information and a site visit to the location.

The facility will be designed to increase the city’s electric utility’s renewable energy supplies by 8 percent if approved by voters.

The city is asking voters to issue bonds worth nearly $4 million. The bonds will be repaid with electricity sales revenues. The facility also would derive funding from a $400,000 grant from the Community Office for Resource Efficiency. The city will pay $780,000 toward the project.

The facility would capture the waters from Castle Creek. The 11,774-square-foot plant would produce 5.5 million kilowatt-hours a year, which equates to electricity for 655 typical homes in Aspen. It also would eliminate 5,167 tons of C02 emissions ” a .6 percent reduction in community-wide carbon emissions.

Voters will be asked another question related to the hydroplant. Voter approval is needed to use open space for a facility to house the turbines and generators for the hydropower. It would be built on an empty lot near the city shops underneath the Castle Creek bridge on Power Plant Road.

The project would use existing water rights, headgates and water storage components of the original Castle Creek hydroelectric plant, which met Aspen’s electric power needs from 1892 through 1958.

The election will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 6. This week’s meeting on the issue will be held at the city streets department, located under Castle Creek bridge. The address is 1080 Power Plant Rd.

For more information, call Rebecca Hodgson at 920-5082 or e-mail her at John Hines also can be reached at 429-1999 or at

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