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Winterskol torches go solar

Jan 12, 2017

Residents of Muaivuso, Fiji, show their Nokero solar bulbs.
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Local skiers will be carrying solar-powered torches down Little Nell before Aspen’s annual Winterskol fireworks display. Those lights will go on to power a community in Fiji.

The traditional torch-light descent is getting a modern update through a partnership with Colorado-based company Nokero, and with a philanthropic twist. The solar-powered bulbs, which run for 6 hours after a day in the sun, will bring light to a community that now relies on kerosene, which is both expensive and polluting.

Nokero founder Steve Katsaros said the goal is to bring high-powered technology from the affluent “top of the world” to those in need.

“In the Pacific Islands, 70 percent of the households do not have electricity, and they use diesel generators,” Katsaros said. “So we want to get these 200 lights to a community in Fiji that is living without electricity.”

Aspen Skiing Company, the Aspen Chamber Resort Association and Nokero will share the cost.

The torchlight parade starts at 8 p.m. on Saturday.