Bill ensures continued availability of Hoover Power to Nevada
December 16, 2009
Washington, DC – The Members of Nevada’s Congressional Delegation today introduced The Hoover Power Allocation Act, to ensure that clean, renewable hydropower from Hoover Dam will continue to be delivered to Nevada. The legislation was introduced by Nevada Senator Harry Reid, along with Senator John Ensign. Congresswomen Shelley Berkley, along with Representatives Dean Heller and Dina Titus cosponsored companion legislation in the House of Representatives.
Hoover Dam power allocations for Nevada utilities and municipalities were last authorized in 1984. Contracts under the 1984 Hoover Power Plant Act expire in 2017, and this bill allows Nevadans to continue receiving power generated at Hoover Dam through the year 2067. Reauthorizing Hoover power allocations early is important for electric and water utilities because it helps them meet future planning requirements, ensure effective regional transmission planning, and ensure reliable water deliveries.
“This is critical legislation for Nevada, Reid said. Nevada will continue to receive reliable, low-cost clean power through 2067 because of this bill.” “I was pleased to receive letters of support from the Southern Nevada Water Authority, NV Energy, the Colorado River Commission, and other major electricity providers and users in Nevada.”
“Nevada families and businesses already greatly benefit from the energy provided by Hoover Dam and this extension will ensure that our State continues to have the ability to tap this reliable power source for generations to come. This agreement also expands eligibility to Native American Tribes who have been unable to purchase power from Hoover Dam under existing rules,” said Berkley. “Proper management of our water resources along the Colorado is critical both for power generation and to protect threatened and endangered species, and this update will help address both these needs.”
“Hoover Dam is not only a historic land mark, but also an important source of energy for Nevada. Hoover Dam has provided Nevadans with clean, renewable power for generations. This legislation ensures Nevadans will receive this energy for generations to come. I am pleased to join this bipartisan effort,” said Heller.
“Nevada relies heavily on the clean hydroelectric power created at the Hoover Dam, and even though power contracts don’t expire until 2017, it is important to move early on this issue so we can plan for the future,” Congresswoman Titus said. “This legislation will ensure that Nevada continues to receive the power we need for decades to come.”
Hoover power is a vital power resource for consumers in Arizona, California, and Nevada. Over 29 million people rely on this power, which is a clean renewable source of energy. Since its construction, Hoover Dam power has been allocated by Act of Congress. Hoover power was first allocated by Congress in the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928. In 1984, Congress again allocated Hoover power through contracts with state, municipal and utility contractors.
These contracts will expire in 2017. Passage of the proposed Hoover Power Allocation Act of 2009 is critical to ensuring the continued availability and reliability of Hoover power to the citizens of Arizona, California and Nevada.
Hoover power contractors pay for operation, maintenance, replacement, and equipment upgrades for Hoover Dam’s power facilities, and they will continue to do so under the Hoover Power Allocation Act of 2009. To date, contractors from Nevada, Arizona and California have invested over $1.3 billion on Hoover Dam’s power facilities. Additionally, contractors are committed to supporting the Lower Colorado River Multi-Species Conservation Program, which was enacted earlier this year, for the protection of 26 endangered, threatened and sensitive species on the lower Colorado River.
The 1984 Hoover Power Plant Act distributed Hoover power to the following contractors under three schedules:
Schedule A includes the original purchasers of Hoover power as authorized in the Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928: Metropolitan Water District of Southern California; Cities of Los Angeles, Glendale, Pasadena and Burbank; Southern California Edison Company; Arizona Power Authority; Colorado River Commission of Nevada; and City of Boulder City, Nevada.
Schedule B includes contractors that advance-funded the Hoover power turbine upratings as authorized in the Hoover Power Plant Act of 1984: State of California (Cities of Glendale, Pasadena, Burbank, Anaheim, Azusa, Banning, Colton, Riverside, Vernon), and States of Arizona and Nevada.
Schedule C governs allocations of excess energy, if any, to Arizona, California and Nevada as negotiated between the states and the federal government.
Distribution of Power under the Proposed Legislation
Under the proposed legislation, Congress would distribute Hoover power pursuant to Schedules A, B and C; however, each of the current Hoover contractors would contribute 5% of their Schedules A and B power to a pool that would be distributed under a new Schedule D. Schedule D power would be allocated to federally recognized Indian Tribes and other eligible entities that do not currently purchase Hoover power.
Two-thirds of the Schedule D pool would be allocated through the Western Area Power Administration (“Western”); the remaining one-third of the Schedule D pool would be distributed in equal shares through the Arizona Power Authority (for new contractors in Arizona), through the Colorado River Commission of Nevada(for new contractors in Nevada), and through Western (for new contractors in California).
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