Aspen, Colorado . . . home to a winter playland of skiing, snowshoeing, trekking, and now, 100 percent clean energy.

Aspen started transitioning away from fossil fuels in the 1980s with two hydroelectric dams. Then last summer, the city purchased enough wind energy to meet the last 25 percent of its energy needs – the equivalent of taking 4,000 cars off the road for a year.

Aspen joined Burlington, Vermont and Greensburg, Kansas in relying solely on clean energy. David Hornbacher, Aspen’s director of utilities and environmental initiatives, says although every community is unique, each one can put together a portfolio of clean power.

Hornbacher: “We’re the third municipal electric utility in the nation to achieve this and each did it by a different route. So let’s let each of these organizations inspire others to find their path to one-hundred percent renewable.”

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Now Aspen’s renewable energy portfolio includes wind, water, and solar power. By using the forces of nature to power the community, Aspen hopes to inspire other communities to take action.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media/Pam Memmott.

More Resources
City of Aspen Green Initiatives
Aspen is third U.S. city to reach 100% renewable energy
Aspen powers up: City runs 100% on renewable energy
How This City Went 100 Percent Green In Energy Usage
Aspen is now using 100% renewable energy: ‘We are powered by the forces of nature’

Diana Madson

Diana Madson contributed regularly to Yale Climate Connections from 2014 to 2021. She enjoys exploring U.S.-based stories about unexpected and innovative solutions to climate change. In addition to her...