Officials Vow Support for Renewable Energy in West

By Beacon Staff

PARK CITY, Utah – Cabinet leaders with the Obama administration say they’ll work to help Western states accelerate the development of a robust system for delivering renewable power to regional customers.

Western governors say a lack of effective transmission is one of the biggest impediments in the development of solar, wind and geothermal power.

Speaking at the Western Governors’ Association’s annual meeting Monday, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said fast-tracking permits for renewable energy projects and transmission is a top priority for the administration.

He says four Western states — Arizona, California, Nevada and Wyoming — will get federal renewable energy planning offices to help make sure projects don’t get stalled in local bureaucracy.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu also announced $80 million in federal stimulus money to develop the next generation of high-voltage transmission networks.

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