WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives David Schweikert (AZ-01) and Greg Stanton (AZ-04) celebrated House passage of 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. The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.
Rep. Schweikert speaks in support of his bill expanding affordable pumped storage hydropower in Arizona. Click here to watch his remarks.
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 glad to see the House come together to pass our legislation which enables the development of additional pumped-storage hydropower sites on the Salt River, further increasing the supply of affordable and reliable energy for communities across central Arizona,” said Rep. Schweikert. “As our state’s economy and population continue to explode, we must embrace long-term energy storage technologies to lower costs for Arizona residents. I’m proud to have worked with Rep. Stanton to shepherd this bill through the House, and I look forward to its passage in the Senate as it moves one step closer to becoming law.”
“I’m proud the House overwhelmingly passed our bipartisan bill to help facilitate the innovative development of pumped storage hydropower, and I’m grateful to Congressman Schweikert for his partnership,” said Rep. Stanton. “Not only do pumped storage projects provide greater flexibility and improve reliability in our energy grid, they cut utility costs for Arizona families and businesses.”
“As President Biden continues his war on American energy, Congress must give states every tool to increase low-cost energy production. H.R. 1607 will simplify and streamline the overly complicated permitting process that has hindered production and help increase hydropower in the state,” said House Committee on Natural Resources Chairman Bruce Westerman (AR-04). “By increasing hydropower production, H.R. 1607 will help provide affordable energy to thousands of Americans in Arizona who borne the brunt of skyrocketing energy costs under President Biden. I want to thank Representative Schweikert for his work to get this bill passed, and I look forward to seeing it pass through the Senate and into law.”
“SRP applauds House passage of H.R. 1607, a bill that will enable further evaluation of pumped storage sites for long duration energy storage resources,” said Salt River Project GM & CEO Jim Pratt. “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Rep. Schweikert and Rep. Stanton, the lead House co-sponsors, and for the support of the entire Arizona delegation. Based on SRP’s projected customer growth and energy demand, there will be an increasing need to utilize reliable long duration storage, and we look forward to the Senate considering this legislation without delay.”
U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced companion legislation in the Senate in March.
- The House Natural Resources Committee passed the bipartisan pumped storage hydropower legislation by unanimous consent on July 19.
- Rep. Schweikert spoke in support of his legislation on the House Floor prior to passage. You can watch video from his testimony here.
- The full bill text is available here.