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Renewable energy bill shelved for the year  

A bill that would have exempted renewable energy sources producing less than 50 megawatts from certain state regulations won’t be considered until next year.

Sen. Frank Wagner, R-Virginia Beach, filed Senate Bill 324 largely as a response to the length of time it took the State Corporation Commission to approve Highland New Wind Development’s request to build up to 20 wind turbines.

“Everybody agrees the four years it took to get the Highland County wind project permitted is unacceptable, particularly when you look at some of the goals we set for renewable portfolio standards in the commonwealth,” Wagner said.

But opponents of the bill worried that removing those projects from SCC oversight would also remove a valuable layer of regulation.

On Monday, Wagner agreed to carry the bill over until next year.

— Mason Adams

The Roanoke Times

29 January 2008

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