DOI, DOE and Army Corps Sign a MOU: Federal Agencies To Look at Basin-wide Assessment for Hydropower Development

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In what seems like a progress from conventional ways of looking at hydropower, federal agencies that own and operate hydropower projects around the country are collaborating to find ways to increase hydropower generation while at the same time protecting the non-power interests of the basin.

The officials of the Departments of Interior, Energy and Army, through the Army Corps of Engineers, today signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that, among other things, looks to approach hydropower development from a basin-scale approach.

Coalition members have advocated for such an approach, which would not only generate more power but also provide opportunities for greater environmental restoration.

The MOU aims to increase communication between federal agencies and strengthen the long-term relationship between them to prioritize the generation and development of sustainable hydropower. 

Objectives of the MOU include:

  • Identifying specific federal facilities that will be well-suited as sites for sustainable hydropower;
  • Upgrading facilities and demonstrating new technologies at existing hydropower locations;
  • Coordinating research and development on advanced hydropower technologies;
  • Increasing hydropower generation through low-impact and environmentally sustainable approaches;
  • Integrating policies at the federal level; and
  • Collaborating to identify total incremental hydropower resources at federal facilities.

See the related press release from the Department of Interior.