Friday, November 24, 2006

Colorado Energy And Electricty

The Pueblo Chieftain has a nice article about energy in Colorado. It looks at some of the issues the state faces if it's to expand it's renewable energy industry or simply meet the needs of it's growing population. One of the mundane issues we don't hear about often is building new transmission lines. These aren't cheap to build, they're definitely not sexy and frequently face NIMBY opposition. But without these new lines, we won't be able to reliably get energy to Colorado households, let alone expand the renewable energy industry to meet those needs and even the needs of other states.

The main action at this time the state seems to be taking is as follows :

The chief recommendation in the study, called for under a bill introduced during this year's session by Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West, is to loosen Colorado Public Utilities Commission rules governing when utilities can pass infrastructure costs to users, said PUC director Doug Dean.

Under current rules, utilities aren't usually allowed to recover such construction costs until after a project is completed and power is being sent, although exceptions have been made in some cases.

That's why the study is calling for a Transmission Cost Recovery Rider to be approved by the Legislature, which would allow utilities to recover costs while construction is under way.

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