Austin_Texas is moving forward on the nation's largest wind-power project. That's after state regulators gave preliminary approval today to plans to build billions of dollars worth of new transmission lines. Those lines would bring wind-generated electricity from wind farms in gusty West Texas to the state's urban areas.
Texas is already the national leader in wind power. Supporters of the plan say today's 2-1 vote by the public utility commission will make the lone star state a leader in being able to move all that energy to the urban areas that need it.
Commissioner Paul Hudson says the state would "add more wind than the 14 states following Texas combined.'' Environmentalist and consumer groups called the move a critical expansion of the "renewable energy superhighway.'' They predict it'll spur wind energy projects, create jobs, reduce energy costs and reduce pollution.
Texas electric customers will bear the cost of the 4.9 billion-dollar plan over the next several years by paying about $4 more per month on their electric bills.