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House tentatively approves plan to build electric lines

Mar 2, 2007 The Associated Press

The House gave initial approval Friday to a plan to allow electric companies recover the cost of building new transmission lines after lawmakers said the state needs a way to deliver on its promise to promote renewable energy.

The measure (Senate Bill 100) still faces a third reading in the House.

"This proposal invests in Colorados infrastructure by connecting local communities to the grid to meet our energy needs for the future. It is a critical piece of the puzzle to implement our renewable energy agenda," said Rep. Buffie McFadyen, D-Pueblo West.

The bill would allow energy companies to pay back the costs of building and upgrading transmission lines from the start of the construction instead of having to wait until the lines are built.

Energy companies said a pay-as-you go system would allow lower interest payments.

The bill also identifies areas that have the greatest need for transmission lines for renewable production in the state.

McFadyen said the new plan will help rural Colorado by building an economic engine around renewable energy.