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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Eye On Boise

Wind energy compromise bill passes House on 41-25 vote

HB 337, the compromise wind energy rebate extension bill, has passed the House on a 41-25 vote, after a debate that stretched through and past the noon hour. The measure now moves to the Senate for consideration. The bill extends the current renewable energy rebate through Dec. 31, 2014, provided that if it's for wind or solar, the company will have to have obtained a power purchase agreement with a utility by Oct. 31, 2011. Rep. George Eskridge, R-Dover, said, "This is an issue of fairness." Wind developers started projects in Idaho based on the existence of the tax rebate, he said, but that process was interrupted as a result of action by the Idaho PUC. "This legislation solves that by giving them just a four-month extension on the ability to consummate those contracts. If they don't have those contracts in place by October, they have in fact lost their rebate, and I think it's only fair that we give them that opportunity."

The House then recessed until 4 p.m.

Betsy Z. Russell
Betsy Z. Russell joined The Spokesman-Review in 1991. She currently is a reporter in the Boise Bureau covering Idaho state government and politics, and other news from Idaho's state capital.

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