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Reid, Ensign Introduce Hoover Power Allocation Act

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

Nevada Senators Harry Reid and John Ensign today introduced the Hoover Power Allocation Act, which ensures that clean, renewable electricity from Hoover Dam continues to power Nevada.

"The Hoover Dam project is one of Nevada's most important clean energy projects and a major source of economic development and job creation for our state," said Reid. "Our homes and businesses have been powered by the clean energy produced at Hoover Dam for more than seventy years. This legislation ensures that Nevada will continue to benefit from this renewable source of power for another fifty."

"At a time when our energy needs are facing uncertainty from turmoil in the Middle East, it is comforting for Nevadans to know that we have a tremendous power source in our own backyard," said Ensign. "Power from Hoover Dam provides 29 million people with a clean, renewable and reliable source of energy; it is so important that we renew the contracts for this power so that it is available for our state past its current expiration in 2017. The power generated by Hoover Dam is essential and critical to southern Nevada, and this legislation will ensure that we can rely on Hoover Dam for another 50 years."

The legislation authorizes allocation of Hoover Dam's hydroelectric power through 2067 and will create private sector jobs by allowing for an additional $1.6 billion in upgrades to operations, maintenance and equipment. Additionally, the continued availability and reliability of Hoover power to Nevadans will make it easier for additional investment and job creation to occur. It also ensures that the 29 million people who get their power from the Hoover Dam will have sustainable, reliable power long into the future.

Companion legislation was introduced in the House of Representatives in January by Congressmen Heck.

Overview on the Bill

The Boulder Canyon Project Act of 1928 authorized the Secretary of Interior to construct Hoover Dam and enter into contracts for the sale of power generated at the dam.

In 1984, Congress enacted the Hoover Power Plant Act which authorized the Secretary of Energy to allocate the power produced at the dam under three schedules and the allocation of power under these schedules will expire in 2017.

Background on Hoover Dam

Hoover Dam is operated and maintained by the Bureau of Reclamation and it was dedicated by President Roosevelt in 1935.

There are 17 main turbines in the Hoover Power Plant -- nine on the Arizona wing and eight on the Nevada wing.

According to the Bureau of Reclamation, Nevada receives approximately 25 percent of the electricity generated at Hoover Dam and the ten-year average annual net generation for Hoover Dam through 2008 was about 4.2 billion kilowatt-hours.

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