Southwestern Administrator Mike Wech attended two events in recent weeks, one in Missouri and one in Texas, where he talked about the value of Federal hydropower while recognizing the strong partnerships the agency holds within these states and within Southwestern’s region.
Table Rock Congressional Meeting with U.S. Representative Billy Long (MO 7th District)
Administrator Wech joined Colonel Eric Noe, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Little Rock District, on April 6, 2021 to welcome Missouri Congressman Billy Long for a tour of Table Rock Dam and a discussion of the many benefits Table Rock brings to the Missouri region and the Nation.
Also in attendance were representatives from Southwestern’s customer groups, including Chuck Bryant, General Manager of Carthage Water and Electric Plant of the City of Carthage, Missouri; Nicki Fuller, Executive Director of the Southwestern Power Resources Association; and John Twitty, President and CEO of the Missouri Public Utility Alliance.
Wech reports that the meeting was valuable all around, covering topics with the Congressman such as infrastructure investments through Southwestern’s customer funding program, hydropower benefits to the region, the importance of hydropower during the polar vortex event in February 2021, hydropower as the original renewable energy resource, and potential improvements to Federal contracting actions to make funding under Southwestern’s customer funding program timelier and more efficient.
On average, Table Rock provides nearly half a billion kilowatt-hours (kWh) of annual energy to the region, producing over $17 million in annual revenue and nearly $40 million in annual benefits.
Denison Dam 75th Anniversary Celebration
On April 9, 2021, Administrator Wech contributed remarks at the 75th anniversary of Denison Dam, located on the border of Oklahoma and Texas.
Wech joined Colonel Scott Preston, Commander of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Tulsa District, and other local and state dignitaries, including U.S. Representative Pat Fallon (TX 4th District), to offer praise for the project first put online in 1945 for flood control, hydropower, and other purposes meant to bring benefits to the region and the Nation.
In his remarks, Wech mentioned that Denison has been a strong contributor to Southwestern’s success with its marketing program, providing an average annual energy of nearly quarter of a billion kWh for the region and producing nearly $6 million in annual revenue and over $15 million in annual benefits.
Wech says of his recent appearances, “It’s always great to get together with our stakeholders and partners in the National Federal hydropower program to talk about our successes and future challenges. Table Rock and Denison are shining examples of infrastructure that not only provide a wealth of benefits for the American people but also play a critical part in Southwestern’s overall mission of providing reliable and affordable Federal hydropower to the millions of end users we serve in our six-state marketing region. We at Southwestern look forward to investing in and operating these projects for many years to come.”