Nearly 70 percent of the electricity delivered to Mountain Village from our electricity cooperative, San Miguel Power Association, is generated from coal, a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions and climate change.
In 2009, the mayors of Telluride and Mountain Village issued a challenge to the communities: generate 100 percent of our electricity from renewable sources by 2020.
In an effort to reach this goal, we first purchased renewable energy credits from our electricity supplier to offset 100 percent of the gondola’s electricity with an alternative energy source. Then we installed solar panels on gondola stations to further reduce our reliance on traditional electricity. The gondola totals nearly 40 percent of our usage. This purchase qualifies us as an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partner.
The EPA partnership is a voluntary program that encourages organizations to use green power as a way to reduce the environmental impacts associated with conventional electricity use. The Partnership currently has more than 1,400 partner organizations voluntarily using billions of kilowatt-hours of green power annually. Partners include a wide variety of leading organizations such as Fortune 500® companies, small and medium-sized businesses, local, state and federal governments and colleges and universities.
Help Us Become A Green Power Community
For us to qualify as a Green Power Community, every user of electricity in the community must offset at least 20 percent of their electric use with renewable or alternative energy. This is only a simple phone call away with San Miguel Power Association Green Blocks. We can do it!
We are always studying the potential of alternative energy sources for our public facilities and municipal infrastructure, including geothermal heating and cooling, solar, hydro, wind and biomass. As the possibility for capturing the energy from these natural resources is discovered, we will research ways to apply them to our government facilities or pass the information on to you for private use.
Wastewater Treatment Plant
In 2011, 480 solar photovoltaic (PV) panels were installed to help generate the electricity needed to operate the regional wastewater treatment plant at Society Turn. This local solar energy system produces 100 kilowatt hours, or about 160,000 kilowatt hours per year, of electricity for the facility that serves the Town of Mountain Village, the Town of Telluride and San Miguel County. The 235-watt solar PV panels supply approximately 10 percent of the water treatment facility’s energy and help us meet our goal of lowering carbon emissions and offsetting our electrical needs with new, renewable sources.