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Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has introduced the Clean Energy and Economic Development Act, which calls on the president to designate geographical areas as national renewable energy zones. According to the American Wind Energy Association, this bill would help move the U.S. toward a more secure, climate-friendly energy policy.

The proposed legislation would provide for areas with significant renewable energy resources to be connected to the transmission grid through transmission lines to be paid for by all utility consumers. The bill includes provisions to use the existing transmission system more efficiently - by removing transmission constraints on unused renewable resources - and to use the federal power marketing administrations.

Renewable energy zones would not only integrate more low-cost renewable resources, but also increase grid reliability and expand resource choices for utilities and consumers, AWEA says.



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