As of January 1, 2007, 100 percent of the Telluride Mountain Village gondola and the Town of Mountain Village’s electrical usage, including not only the gondola, but the Town Hall, the Telluride Conference Center, the maintenance shop, snowmelt system and town street lights, will be powered using renewable energy green tags.
In December, The Town of Mountain Village and the Mountain Village Owners Association agreed to purchase $59,000 worth of green tag renewable energy for the town from the San Miguel Power Association. This means that the Town is paying SMPA a premium, which SMPA will then pay to their electricity provider, Tri-State Generation and Transmission, to develop new sources of renewable energy (wind, hydro, solar, biomass, etc).
Colorado voters recently passed Amendment 37, requiring electric companies to produce mandatory amounts of power from renewable sources in coming years. Due to its size and cooperative structure, SMPA is not actually required to follow Amendment 37, but has made a commitment to do so voluntarily.
“Even though we are not required to follow the guidelines of Amendment 37, we live in a ski resort where issues of global climate change are of a big concern. This is why we are passionate about renewable energy,” said Bobby Blair, San Miguel Power representative. “We need everyone to step up to the plate and I’m excited to announce that Mountain Village is now the single largest purchaser of renewable energy in Tri-State Generation and Transmission Association’s system. This system includes 44 local electricity distribution cooperatives (including SMPA) supplying power to 1.2 million customers across 4 states.” SMPA will be talking with the rest of the community and to the schools about green tag fundraising efforts and they hope to implement a full plan in February.
Over the last two years, the town has converted their work fleet to hybrid vehicles, changed everything in the Telluride Conference Center including lights, cleaning fluids, and paper products to eco-friendly products, and switched the town’s monthly newsletter and most communication to recyclable paper.