The West Texas Municipal Power Association has approved a consulting firm contract to help determine how best to cover the region's power needs.
The association includes the cities of Lubbock, Brownfield, Floydada and Tulia.
It was formed in 2008 to find a new power supply to replace an existing contract with Xcel energy that's scheduled to end in 2019.
Association President Gary Brown says he hopes they can start approving plans for a new power plant sometime next year.
"Depending on what's selected, either a third party contractor will put a plan together and begin to build and/or we'll build ourselves and will have to get contracts on that," Brown said.
Thursday's agreement with the consulting firm allows the association to be a part of the original study started by Lubbock Power and Light.
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