80th anniversary SWPA logo with old key and text: National Hydropower Day August 24, 2023: Hydropower is Key
SWPA celebrates 80 years of hydropower in 2023.

For over 135 years, hydropower has powered the United States with clean, renewable energy, and Southwestern Power Administration (Southwestern or SWPA) is celebrating its 80th year of supporting that effort in the Arkansas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, Oklahoma, and Texas areas.

Established in 1943, Southwestern markets and delivers cost-based, wholesale power and energy generated from 24 Federal, multi-purpose hydropower projects. Its footprint includes 26 substations, 46 communications sites, and 1,381 miles of high-voltage transmission lines.

Southwestern has over 100 customers who ultimately serve over 10 million end-use customers. In the last five years, Southwestern has collected an average of $221 million in annual revenue and marketed an average of 6.2 billion kilowatt-hours each year. Customer power rates also provide for major hydropower infrastructure investment, with over $1.1 billion in approved funding to date.

In an average year, the environmentally sound energy marketed by Southwestern from hydropower plants owned by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers saves the American people the equivalent of 9.7 million barrels of oil, 3.0 million tons of coal, or 42.8 billion cubic feet of natural gas. This cost-based energy also prevents the emission of greenhouse gases equivalent to 4.5 million tons of carbon dioxide.

National Hydropower Day 2023: Hydropower is Key

As a way to collectively recognize hydropower’s undeniable contributions to bolstering the nation’s clean energy infrastructure and providing grid resiliency and reliability benefits, the National Hydropower Association (NHA) has established August 24th as National Hydropower Day. This year’s theme is Hydropower is Key and celebrates that hydropower is the key to cleaner communities, local job creation, and a dependable clean energy future.

According to the NHA, hydropower represents 91% of the nation’s energy storage, pairs perfectly with other renewables, and is a major job creator, employing over 66,000 workers nationwide.

DISCLAIMER: No official endorsement or sanction by Southwestern Power Administration of the NHA, its services, or its products is intended or implied. The NHA is a nonprofit association dedicated exclusively to promoting the growth of clean, renewable hydropower and marine energy.