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Pictured above is the Chief Joseph Dam, which is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with hydropower marketed through Bonneville Power Administration.
Pictured above is the Chief Joseph Dam, which is owned and operated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers with hydropower marketed through Bonneville Power Administration.
(Source: Oak Ridge National Laboratory)

Project Summary

The U.S. Department of Energy was directed by Section 9505 of the SECURE Water Act of 2009 (Public Law 111-11) to submit a report to Congress on each effect of, and risk resulting from, global climate change with respect to: (1) water supplies used for hydroelectric power generation; and (2) power supplies marketed by each Federal Power Marketing Administration. To evaluate the potential effects on the 132 federal hydropower plants in the United States, ORNL designed a spatially consistent assessment approach to enable interregional comparisons. This approach uses a series of hyper-resolution meteorologic, hydrologic, and hydropower models to produce the most up-to-date understanding of long-term hydro-meteorological trends on future hydroelectric generation from federal facilities. 

Project Snapshot
Project TitleSECURE Water Act Section 9505 Assessment
AwardeeOak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL)
Awardee HQ LocationTennessee
DOE Funding Amount$2,056,242
Program AreaHydro Optimization/Environmental Research and Analysis
Recipient TypeLaboratory
Award TypeAnnual Operating Plan
Year Awarded2010, 2013
Work LocationsColorado, District of Columbia, Georgia, Maryland, Oklahoma, Oregon, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington
Congressional District(s)CO-2, CO-3, DC-AL, GA-9, MD-4, MD-8, OK-1, OR-3, OR-4, TN-3, VA-11, WA-4, WA-7
StatusActive

 

What You Need to Know

Opportunities

Federal hydropower comprises approximately half of the U.S. hydropower portfolio. In addition to evaluating effects and risks from long-term hydrometeorological trends, the assessments address potential changes in operation or contracting practices that could mitigate adverse impacts, while also identifying potential adaptation strategies. 

Impacts
  • Help to produce a new understanding of future hydroelectric generation from federal facilities.
  • Enable a better understanding of the future of U.S. federal hydropower assets.
  • Optimize existing hydropower technology, flexibility, and operations.
  • Reduce deployment barriers and environmental impacts of hydropower.
  • Enable policymakers to evaluate potential climate change impacts across the entire federal hydropower fleet.
  • Provide a basis for planning future actions that will enable adaptation to hydrologic variability and change.
  • Provide researchers and water resource planners with datasets that allow them to explore various aspects of long-term hydrometeorological impacts on water and energy resources in the United States.
Actions
  • Utilize a spatially consistent assessment approach to evaluate potential long-term effects on the 132 federal hydropower plants in the United States.
  • Conduct an assessment report and a report to Congress every five years until 2023 as mandated by Section 9505 of the SECURE Water Act of 2009.
  • Provide future seasonal and monthly hydropower projections to support long-term hydropower marketing planning.

Project Partners

Bonneville Power Administration
Provide recommendations to meet long-term power commitments
Western Area Power Administration
Provide recommendations to meet long-term power commitments
Southwestern Power Administration
Provide recommendations to meet long-term power commitments
Southeastern Power Administration
Provide recommendations to meet long-term power commitments
U.S. Department of the Interior, Bureau of Reclamation
Federal hydropower owner/operator
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers
Federal hydropower owner/operator
U.S. Geological Survey
Data and water science expertise

About the Water Power Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office enables research, development, and testing of emerging technologies to advance marine energy as well as next generation hydropower and pumped-storage systems for a flexible, reliable grid.

Hydropower