Small-scale hydro bill passes state House
February 17, 2014
Steamboat Springs — The Colorado House of Representatives on Thursday passed a bill sponsored by Rep. Diane Mitsch Bush, D-Steamboat Springs, that seeks to streamline the process for small-scale hydroelectric operations.
Mitsch Bush worked with Don Coram, R-Montrose, to draft House Bill 14-1030, which would apply to facilities that produce 10 megawatts of energy or less.
The first section of the bill, Mitsch Bush said, reduces red tape for the small hydroelectric projects while the second section coordinates the permitting process through the Colorado Energy Office rather than requiring the water rights holder to individually contact state and federal agencies.
Mitsch Bush said the hope is to stimulate small, rural hydroelectric businesses and also potentially lower electric bills for some users.
"The bill was the result of a broad and inclusive stakeholder process that included utilities, conservation groups, small hydroelectric producers and electric contractors," Mitsch Bush said in a news release. "I was delighted to work with Rep. Coram on the bill and to see it pass with broad support in its current form."
The bill passed the House, 62-3, and now moves to the Senate.
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