WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Representatives David Schweikert (AZ-01) and Greg Stanton (AZ-04) applauded the House Natural Resources Committee for passing their bipartisan legislation which enables the exploration of constructing additional pumped storage hydropower facilities in the Salt River reservoir system to keep energy costs low for Arizonans, help stabilize the state’s electric grid during peak demand, and boost the supply of affordable and reliable energy.
Pumped storage hydroelectricity allows water to be pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir when energy demand is low. When energy demand is high and power is needed on the grid, the upper reservoir is released downhill back into the lower reservoir and run through hydropower turbines which can generate up to 10-12 hours of reliable energy.
“I am pleased that the House Natural Resources Committee passed my bill, which will make additional land available by clarifying Bureau of Reclamation’s jurisdiction with respect to the development of pumped storage on the Salt River. This will increase the supply of affordable and reliable energy in central Arizona,” said Rep. Schweikert. “With our state’s economy and population rapidly growing, it’s absolutely critical that we embrace long-term domestic technologies to ensure lower utility costs for our local communities. I look forward to seeing this bipartisan legislation move to the House Floor for a vote soon.”
“H.R. 1607 is a commonsense piece of legislation that will further help develop low-cost energy by increasing hydropower production in Arizona,” said House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “When Americans gave the Republicans the majority, one major factor is we made a commitment to lower energy costs in every way possible. I was pleased to see this commitment continued with this bill and am excited to have H.R. 1607 pass through our committee. I look forward to continuing to work with Representative Schweikert to pass this bill through the House.”
“Back home, we’re seeing record-breaking daily temperatures in the hundreds–stressing demand for electricity. That’s why I’ve worked across the aisle with Congressman Schweikert to advance pumped-storage hydropower projects in the Salt Reservoir system,” said Rep. Stanton. “Not only does pumped storage help integrate renewable energy into our power grid, it provides greater flexibility and reliability for the entire system. And, importantly, it lowers utility costs for Arizona families and businesses when they need it most.”
“SRP applauds the House Natural Resources Committee for advancing H.R. 1607, which will enable evaluation of proposed pumped storage sites for long-duration energy storage resources. Pumped storage can store renewable energy generated during the day, and provide that energy to customers during the night,” said Salt River Project CEO & GM Jim Pratt. “Future projections indicate there will be an increasing need to utilize reliable long duration storage, and this legislation from Rep. Schweikert and Rep. Stanton sets us on the path to developing additional pumped storage.”
- The House Natural Resources Committee passed the bipartisan pumped storage hydropower legislation by unanimous consent. It now awaits a full vote by the House.
- Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced companion legislation in the U.S. Senate.
- Rep. Schweikert spoke in support of his legislation at a Natural Resources Subcommittee on Water, Wildlife, and Fisheries legislative hearing in June. You can watch video from his testimony here.
- The full bill text is available here.