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Legislative News - Congress Acts to Spur Hydropower Development at Federal Facilities
On Tuesday, June 10, 2014, the President signed into law H.R. 3080, known as the Water Resources Reform and Development Act (“WRRDA”). WRRDA includes several provisions intended to expedite the development of non-federal hydropower projects at facilities operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. It specifically declares that the permitting of such projects by the Corps be completed in a timely manner. It also requires the Corps to submit a report to Congress detailing its efforts to encourage the development of non-federal hydropower projects at Corps facilities and its progress in reviewing and approving applications to develop such projects. The passage of WRRDA may accelerate a Corps approval process that many within the hydropower community have found to be protracted and problematic.
Joshua Adrian Featured as NRECA Guest Editorial on New Hydropower Development Opportunities
Energy News –Tremendous Potential For New Hydropower Development
On April 29, 2014, the Energy Department and its Oak Ridge National Laboratory released a hydropower resource assessment estimating that there are more than 65 gigawatts of potential new hydropower development across the U.S., which is nearly equivalent to current U.S. hydropower capacity. The assessment represents the most detailed evaluation of U.S. hydropower potential at undeveloped streams and rivers to date, analyzing stream- and river-specific information with variables such as endangered species, water use, water quality, protected lands, and recreational access. The assessment will assist in the identification of the most promising opportunities to develop clean, renewable hydropower.
Hydropower currently represents 7 percent of total U.S. electricity generation, and it continues to be the U.S.’s largest renewable energy source, keeping more than 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions from otherwise being released each year. The assessment highlights hydropower’s benefit as a reliable baseload power source, providing flexibility and diversity to the electric grid and allowing utilities to integrate other renewable sources such as wind and solar power. The report is available from the following link: