Hydroelectric, New Projects, Policy & Regulations, Renewables, Water Treatment

Colorado OKs small hydro development

Hydropower Regulatory Efficiency Act of 2013 House of Representatives unanimous vote approve FERC

The Colorado House of Representatives passed legislation last week for small hydropower development.

The bill — HB14-1030 — was introduced in the Colorado House by Reps. Diane Mitsch Bush and Don Coram, with additional sponsorship from Reps. Randy Fischer, Jerry Sonnenberg and Edward Vigil. Meanwhile, senate support came from Sens. Gail Schwartz, Ellen Roberts and Mary Hodge.

The Colorado Small Hydro Association says the bill streamlines environmental review for small hydroelectric projects without weakening or changing any underlying state environmental requirements.

The association added that Colorado has the potential for about 100-MW of new hydropower development.

The project would be facilitated by the Colorado Energy Office and be reviewed by state agencies in a timely manner, so applicants may be able to clear federal and state reviews as quickly as 60 days.

The bill also includes electrical inspections by citing National Electrical Code (NEC) standards, that inspectors will determine if a project meets the standards for safety, quality and code compliance.

The bill received unanimous approval from the Colorado House Transportation and Energy Committee.

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