3MW LLC is a company operated by Vessels Coal Gas that has installed electrical generation capacity to deliver 3 megawatts of electricity to Holy Cross Energy. To our knowledge the facility will be the first in the USA west of the Mississippi to generate electricity from methane that is venting from an active coal mine. The gas normally has a methane concentration of around 30%-40%. This gas is too contaminated with nitrogen to be shipped into a natural gas pipeline were one present at the mine (there is no pipeline for many miles). Electric generation is the only means the energy value of this dilute methane gas can be put to beneficial use while at the same time reducing green house gas emissions. Holy Cross provided a market for the electricity and Aspen Skiing Company provided the majority of the financial resources necessary to build the power station. Oxbow Mining LLC, Gunnison Energy and Vessels Coal Gas contributed rights to the methane used by 3MW LLC to generate electricity.

3 MW is an electrical generation project that produces three mega watts of electricity from gas venting from the Elk Creek mine and the adjacent Sanborn Creek mine. This project began generating electricity in 2012.

Aspen Ski Company's video of the commissioning ceremony of the 3MW electric generation facility.


Digital copy of the tour handout of the 3MW electric generation facility.

Photo tour hand out

Research paper by Amy Crowfoot on Elk Creek Generator Project.


Methane to electricity: Global Methane Expo Coal Technical Session.