Hydropower Program(Our site is currently being converted to a new template. Not all pages have been converted yet and we appreciate your understanding while we continue this process.)
Reports and Data
The purpose of this Update is to revise the May 1995 report, “Replacements, Units, Service Lives, Factors” published by the Western Area Power Administration (Western) and the Bureau of Reclamation (Reclamation). There is significant continuity of data in many sample projects from earlier reports dating as far back as March 1968 for some plant accounts. This Update was prepared by a team of Western and Reclamation staff members during the period from October 2003 through December 2005. The Update includes changing the name of the Reference numbers to Justification numbers. The Update also includes adding new units of property as well as combining some of the units of property. These changes were made to reflect current operating and accounting practices.
Link to detailed information about our facilities from any of the links below:
* As indicated in the data file, facility data is considered PROVISIONAL and is subject to revision. Data users are cautioned to consider carefully the provisional nature of this information before using.
Reclamation's Role in Hydropower
Facilities Instructions, Standards and Techniques (FIST) Manuals
Hydropower - A Key to Prosperity in the Growing World (Produced in Cooperation with the International Energy Agency)
Inventory of Reclamation Water Surface Storage Studies with Hydropower Components
Report to Congress Implementing Provisions of Section 1840 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-58) . This report complies with Section 1840 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 requiring the Secretary of the Interior, acting through the Bureau of Reclamation, to develop a report "identifying and describing the status of potential hydropower facilities included in water surface storage studies undertaken by the Secretary for projects that have not been completed or authorized for construction" since 1939.
This report contains no recommendations. However, it does serve as a useful reference tool for understanding the magnitude and scope of historical study activities in specific locations. The report is in .pdf format.
Hydropower Resource AssessmentsPotential Hydroelectric Development at Existing Federal Facilities for Section 1834 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (May 2007)
This report complies with Section 1834 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Section 1834) that requires the Secretary of the Interior, the Secretary of the Army, and the Secretary of Energy to “jointly conduct a study assessing the potential for increasing electric power production at federally owned or operated water regulation, storage, and conveyance facilities.” The study participants included select staff of the Bureau of Reclamation, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management, the Bureau of Indian Affairs, the National Park Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Western Area Power Administration, the Southeastern Power Administration, the Southwestern Power Administration, and the Bonneville Power Administration.
The study examined 871 existing federal facilities, with and without hydroelectric generating capability, assessing their physical capacity for generation or generation expansion and their economic viability based on comparisons with regional electric power rates. The report does not include any assessments of lands not under federal domain or consider new dam construction. In addition, the study participants developed and included assessment tools for generating capacity and economic viability that may be used and updated for future use.
The 1834 Report contains no recommendations. Rather, the report only attempts to give a broad inventory and assessment of future hydropower development at federal facilities under the jurisdiction of the participating agencies. The report is in pdf format. Additional analysis tools are included below.
As a component of the MOU for Hydropower, and recognizing the current national emphasis on renewable energy and its extensive existing water infrastructure systems, Reclamation has produced the Hydropower Resource Assessment at Existing Reclamation Facilities (Resource Assessment) to assess hydropower development at existing facilities to contribute to nationwide renewable energy strategies. This report provides a reconnaissance level assessment of the hydropower potential at 530 sites throughout Reclamation including dams, diversion dams, and some canals and tunnels. All 530 sites were considered in the analysis, of which, 191 sites were determined to have some level of hydropower potential. 70 of those sites, with a total of 225 MW of generation capacity, also show some economic potential for hydropower development. Despite its preliminary level of analysis, the Resource Assessment provides valuable information on hydropower potential at existing Reclamation facilities.
The "Site Inventory and Hydropower Energy Assessment of Reclamation Owned Conduits" report builds off of the Hydropower Resource Assessment published in March 2011. This new report identifies potential hydropower sites on Reclamation owned conduits and determines those sites’ capacity and energy potential. In addition, this study identifies proximity to distribution or transmission lines, and provides site maps for the identified sites.
The report identifies 103,628 kW of potential capacity, and 365,218,846 kWh of potential annual generation on 373 Reclamation conduit sites located in 13 western states.
Hydropower Memorandum of Understanding (MOU)
To promote reliable, affordable, and environmentally sustainable hydropower, the U.S. Department of the Interior (through Reclamation), the U.S. Department of Energy (through the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy), and the Department of Army (through the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding for Hydropower (MOU), signed on March 24, 2010. The MOU provides for a long-term, collaborative working relationship, prioritizing similar goals and aligning ongoing and future renewable energy development efforts between the three agencies. In April 2012, the agencies published a two-year progress report to document MOU achievements.
To build upon the successes accomplished through this inter-agency partnership, the agencies renewed their MOU commitment on March 24, 2015 with a second phase of collaboration outlined in a Phase II Action Plan. The Action Plan details a second phase of collaboration, which seeks to support the Administration’s goals for doubling renewable energy generation by 2020 and improving federal permitting processes for clean energy as established in the President’s Climate Action Plan. Through continued collaboration and partnerships with other federal agencies, the hydropower industry, the research community, and numerous stakeholders, the agencies intend to continue working toward the objectives and goals of the MOU.
Bureau of Reclamation Renewable Update
Released quarterly, the Bureau of Reclamation Renewable Energy Update identifies Federal and non-Federal renewable energy projects currently online or in development on Reclamation land, facilities, and water bodies and highlights current Reclamation renewable activities. The update provides Reclamation-wide and regional summaries, renewable energy portfolios, and project updates as well as a listing of WaterSMART Grant projects that have a renewable energy component. Beginning in FY15, current and previous releases are available below.