Aspen was the first city west of the Mississippi to have hydroelectric powered street lights. It was built to service the mines in the area and municipal power was an afterthought. By the early 1890s, both Hunter Creek and Castle Creek had their own plants. Hunter Creek’s penstock (supply pipe) was the highest and longest in the nation at the time (860 feet). A few parts of the penstock remain today. Watch the Aspen Historical Society's video on Aspen's hydroelectric past.
Historic Photo of Old Castle Creek Hydro
The current Maroon Creek hydroelectric plant was built in the late 1980s. Its maximum output is 450 Kilowatts. The Ruedi power plant was built in 1984 and has a capacity of 5.0 megawatts. The City owns the generator building and the water rights, but the dam is controlled by the Bureau of Reclamation. Additionally, through a power purchase agreement, the Ridgway Hydroelectric facility will provide up to an additional 14% of renewable energy to our community beginning in 2014 with full production in 2015. The City of Aspen is also looking into several micro hydro projects around town.
Current Energy Production
See up to the hour data on the energy being produced by the City's hydroelectric resources.