Bureau of Reclamation Releases Sustainable Energy Strategic Plan

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Strategic plan outlines how Reclamation will support the development of renewable energy and reduce the energy footprint of its facilities.

It is only natural that Reclamation play a key role in facilitating the additional development and integration of renewables such as hydropower, solar, wind and geothermal to help meet the western energy demands.

A new sustainable energy strategic plan released today will help guide the Bureau of Reclamation into the future as the agency continues its vital role in developing and supporting renewable energy production for the nation's power grid.

"Reclamation continues to successfully generate renewable, clean and affordable hydropower as energy needs consistently grow across the western United States," Commissioner Michael L. Connor said. "It is only natural that Reclamation play a key role in facilitating the additional development and integration of renewables such as hydropower, solar, wind and geothermal to help meet the western energy demands."

Six long-term strategic objectives to further Reclamation's sustainable energy mission were developed to help guide Reclamation in this important endeavor:

1.    Increase renewable generation from Reclamation projects.
2.    Facilitate non-federal development of renewable energy projects.
3.    Increase energy savings and conservation at Reclamation projects.
4.    Support integration of variable non-dispatchable renewable resources in the United States electrical grid.
5.    Increase benefits of renewable energy through technological innovation.
6.    Improve management efficiencies related to the implementation of renewable energy and energy savings projects.

Reclamation is already implementing this plan, and will continue to work with our water and power customers, power marketing administrations, and other stakeholders as these objectives are implemented.

Ongoing activities at Reclamation are improving and supporting renewable energy. These activities include:

●    Engaging in generator uprates – the process to increase power production capacity at generating units.
●    Replacing turbines to support overall unit efficiency and increased generation at the same water levels or the same generation at lower water levels.
●    Issuing a new Lease of Power Privilege directive and standard to provide clearer guidance and streamlining the process for non-federal hydropower development.
●    Identifying facilities and lands that are good potential candidates for renewable energy development.
●    Increasing utility metering at individual buildings to facilitate monitoring of existing energy and water usage and to allow tracking after implementation of energy conservation measures.

The sustainable energy strategic plan is viewable online at http://www.usbr.gov/power.

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Peter Soeth
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