Affordable Power

Affordable power is needed for the efficient use, distribution, and management of water that sustains the basin’s agricultural and biological communities. Unlike many other Reclamation projects, the Klamath Project does not generate hydropower; in 1917, it authorized a private party to develop hydropower using Project water in exchange for reduced power rates for the irrigators. This arrangement was continued, with modifications, in the 1956 contract between Reclamation and the company that became PacifiCorp. The contract expired in 2006, and since 2013, water users have been experiencing full retail (tariff) power costs which are negatively impacting both On- and Off-Project irrigators.

In 2013, in fulfillment of the Department of the Interior’s agreement to advance the purposes of the Klamath Basin Restoration Agreement (KBRA) to the extent possible under existing authorities and funding, the Klamath Basin Area Office (KBAO) began developing an affordable power program. The resulting Comprehensive Agricultural Power Plan (CAPP) consisted of several studies relating to acquisition of federal power and generation of renewable energy for use in the Upper Klamath Basin. The reports for these studies are below.

The KBRA expired on December 31, 2015 due to the lack of federal legislation to authorize and fund its implementation.  Reclamation’s affordable power work under the KBRA concluded in 2016.

More recently, the America’s Water Infrastructure Act (AWIA) of 2018 (Pub. L. 115-270) passed in October 2018.  Section 4308 of the law amended the Klamath Basin Water Supply Enhancement Act of 2000 (Pub. L. 106-498) to direct the Secretary of the Interior to resume work on affordable power. Since then, the KBAO has been working to comply with the law by preparing a report that identifies a Power Cost Benchmark and recommends actions to achieve it.

Reclamation is requesting public review of the draft AWIA reports linked below, which represent work by Reclamation; its contractor, Kleinschmidt Group Inc.; and stakeholders (Klamath Water Users Association and individual Klamath Project and Off-Project power users).

Comments will be accepted through December 2, 2019. Comments may be emailed to before midnight. By mail or hand delivery they must arrive by 4:30 p.m. to 6600 Washburn Way, Klamath Falls, OR 97603.

When finalized, the reports will be forwarded to Congress for its consideration.

AWIA Reports

CAPP Reports (provided for background)



Note: Documents in Portable Document Format (PDF) require Adobe Acrobat Reader 5.0 or higher to view, download Adobe Acrobat Reader

Last Updated: 12/14/22