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Peabody's future to spring from Colorado reservoir

AS PEABODY Energy works toward a major transition with its Colorado operations - the growth of the Sage Creek mine ahead of the future closure of the Twentymile complex - it is spending $US16 million to develop a reservoir to serve its future in the Rockies.

Donna Schmidt
Peabody's future to spring from Colorado reservoir

Peabody real estate director Brian Yansen confirmed plans for the Trout Creek reservoir to be constructed 15 miles southwest of Steamboat Springs, according to local newspaper the Steamboat Pilot,.

He told Routt County’s board of commissioners that the planned 400-acre lake would provide water to its mines, support its operations, and generate hydro-electric power.

“Our location of this planned reservoir gives us a long-term water supply in the geographical location we need to serve our operations,” Yansen reportedly said in this week’s meeting.

“We’re trying to be as creative as we can with water and use it for maximum long-term benefit. This would supply water for (the new Twentymile Sage Creek Mine) as well as future mining to the west.”

According to the paper, Yansen confirmed Peabody had no plans to lease Trout Creek water to third parties, but it could be used as a recreational boating and fishing area for residents of a potential subdivision on the reservoir’s shores. Peabody has an existing subdivision nearby, Vista Ridge.

Yansen told the commissioners that in addition to water storage, the company wanted to erect a micro-hydropower plant generating enough electricity to serve about 125 homes annually.

“It’s unique for Peabody to be doing this,” he told the Pilot, adding that officials believed it supported the state’s Renewable Energy Initiative (REI).

Trout Creek could be several years in development. The blueprints must get the green light from county and federal governments, as well as the public. Some aspects, including the hydropower plan, require Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approval.

Peabody will host two public meetings on the issue at 7pm next Thursday and Friday at the Steamboat Springs Community Center.

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