NHA members urge US Congress to support hydropower

21 July 2010

"Untapped hydropower generation, primarily from existing facilities and new pumped storage opportunities, has the potential to create 1.4 million American jobs and support the doubling of U.S. renewable energy resources,” said nha President Andrew Munro of Grant (WA) Public Utility District. “This year has marked many opportunities for the hydropower industry from the adoption of a federal memorandum of understanding on increasing hydropower development at federal facilities to the recent introduction of the bipartisan Hydropower Improvement Act of 2010. Development of sustainable hydropower resources must be a priority in energy legislation."

An NHA study released earlier this year showed that hydropower, already the largest source of renewable electricity in the United States, has the potential to add 60,000MW of capacity in the next 15 years alone, with an industry goal to double. In doing that, hydropower companies would help spur the creation of 1.4 million cumulative jobs throughout every state.

“When you look at those statistics, especially the potential for job-creation and local economic opportunities, you realize what an engine for growth hydropower can be," said NHA Executive Director Linda Church Ciocci. "However, policy matters and the hydropower industry is calling on Congress to extend and expand hydropower incentives, adopt clean energy policies that recognize hydropower's contributions, speed job creation benefits through better coordinated development processes for minimal-impact projects, and increase federal funding for waterpower R&D.”

The letter emphasizes the important role hydropower plays in NHA member company portfolios. “Hydropower has been a critical source of renewable energy for Pacific Gas & Electric Company as part of a diverse portfolio of low-carbon sources of energy. We support legislation that helps expand the use of hydropower in an environmentally responsible way,” said NHA Vice President David Moller of PG&E.

A copy of the letter NHA sent to Congress today is available at www.hydro.org.

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