Renewable Energy: Hydropower


[Multiple sounds from various news clips] Narrator: Renewable Energy. You can’t turn on the TV or go online without seeing the headlines. From peak oil concerns to environmental impacts, we are all looking for ways to provide an energy resource that is reliable, renewable and environmentally sound. [Music] [Music] Here at the Bureau of Reclamation,
our vision remains strong. For over 100 years we have been providing the West, with water. But did you know that Reclamation has also been generating renewable power for nearly as long? Hydropower is our nation’s primary source of green energy, and Reclamation is the second largest producer of hydropower in the United States. Our power plants meet the annual residential needs of over nine million people, with a capacity of 15 million kilowatts. But we know that isn’t enough. So, on March 24, we joined other federal agencies in a Memorandum of Understanding. The goal? Providing affordable, environmentally sustainable hydropower for America’s energy needs today and tomorrow. [Music] Reclamation has been an ardent supporter
of innovation and environmental stewardship, as well as an advocate for the Western United States, since its inception in 1902. “In the name of the people of the United States, to whom you, Boulder Dam, are a symbol of greater things in the future, I call you to life.” Clean hydroelectric power was among
the department’s key objectives long before “going green” was even a concept. So, it’s only natural that Reclamation
partner with other federal agencies and our customers to streamline the government’s effort to make our nation as energy efficient as possible. We know you are the reason for our success. Our customers are the lifeblood of Reclamation and it is your partnership and involvement
that make our operation successful. In 2008, Reclamation, the central Utah Water Conservancy District, and the Central Utah Completion Act Office worked together to add new generators at Jordanelle Dam. Gene Shawcraft: Reclamation was involved on a daily basis with the design of the powerplant, construction, as well as project management as we went through the project from the initial phases of design and construction all the way through completion and initial operation. These cooperative, collaborative relationships will continue to build the foundation for tomorrow’s energy needs in an environmentally, beneficial way. Leslie James: The environmental issues
that Reclamation is facing, the environmental issues that CREDA members are facing, has really brought us together to try and work on collaborative soultions to not only improve the downstream resources, but also to try to maximize a generation of this renewable resource. [Music] New technology has allowed us to enhance our powerplants efficiency and capacity. With funding support from our customers, we’ve installed more efficient turbines
at hydro facilities large and small. Flaming Gorge, Glen Canyon, Hoover and Grand Coulee are just a few of the sites that have seen an increase in the capacity of units. Kerry McCalman: Reclamation is uprating
and improving the efficiency on all of its units. We’ve had an ongoing program to do that over the years ever since these facilities were built. So as we see opportunities and as our customers see opportunities to improve the efficiency and increase capacity we do those projects with their approval. We’ve added over 70 private power plants
to Reclamation dams and canals, with the potential to expand in the future
with our existing footprint. Small, localized hydropower sites will be developed suitable for rural, remote areas, as well as possible integration with other renewables. [Music] [Music] All of these efforts will further our goal of helping the nation become more energy independent using clean, renewable hydropower. As we look to the future of renewable energy, our partnership with private industry will help create a legacy for our children, and our children’s children. George Caan: Where the customers of Reclamation and Reclamation today feel that they’re partners, in operating rather than opponents in operation because the realization that we need to make sure these projects are operating both for Reclamation and the customers
is realized by everyone. Together, we can continue to provide clean,
efficient, renewable energy to our nation, for generations to come. [Music]

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