Renewable energy projects in the western U.S. states may develop quickly after the Obama administrationâ€™s Interior and Agriculture departments announced their support for a solid energy system at the Western Governors Association annual meeting on Monday.
The participation of the Department of the Interior, headed by Secretary Ken Salazar, is particularly significant at this time because it will enable companies to get timely permissions to develop transmission projects and power lines across lands owned by the federal government, Doug Larson, Executive Director of the Western Interstate Energy Board said in phone interview today.
We are in a stage when a lot of the talk is likely to turn into action. We will be seeing transmission being built and renewable generation being built, Larson said, noting the commitment shown by the Obama administration.
However, he added that there has been ongoing support for clean energy technologies in the region since the previous administration.
Leading officials including Secretary Steven Chu from the Department of Energy, Secretary Tom Vilsack of the Department of Agriculture, Chairman Jon Wellinghof of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, and Nancy Sutley, Chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality announced their support yesterday at the meeting in Park City, Utah.
Among the actions taken yesterday, the DOE announced $80 million for the development and implementation of the next generation high voltage transmission networks.