Bureau of Reclamation Banner, Upper Colorado Region
Reclamation Home              Reclamation Offices              Newsroom              Library              Projects & Facilities

title image: CRSP Power Office Programs & Activities

Non-Federal Power Development

photo: Jordanelle Dam and Powerplant
Jordanelle Dam and Powerplant

Federal hydroelectric power development is encouraged and supported as a part of Reclamation projects when it is in the national interest, feasible, and economically justified. Funding is typically provided through appropriations from Congress but may also come from other funding sources. Reclamation also supports hydroelectric power development by non-federal entities at Reclamation projects where federal development has not occurred. In the case of non-federal development, a non-federal entity would provide funding to develop hydropower at a Reclamation structure.

Non-federal hydroelectric power development may occur under one of the following scenarios:

  • If power has been specifically authorized at a Reclamation project, either by statute or administrative determination, Reclamation may grant a lease of power privilege (lease) for non-federal development on that Reclamation project. A lease is a contractual right given to a non-federal entity to use a Reclamation facility for electric power generation consistent with Reclamation project purposes. For more information visit http://www.usbr.gov/recman/fac/fac04-08.pdf
  • If federal development was not specifically authorized as a part of the Reclamation project, either by statute or administratively, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission may issue a license for hydropower development

In either case, the power development must not conflict with the purposes for which Congress authorized the Reclamation project; not affect the structural and operational integrity of the Reclamation project, including safety and security; and not have significant adverse environmental, cultural, and historical impacts.


Last updated: September 4, 2008