Texas wind power takes jump to reality

State regulators put Texas on course to spend $4.83 billion on power lines needed to carry electricity from wind farms in the Panhandle and High Plains to the state's urban centers.

The move Thursday by the Public Utility Commission stopped short of a more aggressive $6.4 billion plan to harness the state's wind potential. But renewable-energy advocates and the electricity-generating industry hailed it as a fair compromise that would go a long way toward ensuring a reliable supply of power.

Texas leads the nation in wind-energy production, and the utility commission's move, which still faces one more procedural hurdle, would put the state’s output ahead of the combined production of the other 14 states producing wind energy.

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