Gardner Introduces Legislation to Bolster Hydropower

Washington, D.C. – Senator Cory Gardner (R-CO) today announced he reintroduced the Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization Act (RIVER Act), legislation that would reauthorize an existing Department of Energy program which provides funding to retrofit existing dams and river conduits with electricity-generating technology. According to DOE reports, there are up to 12 gigawatts of untapped hydropower development within the nation’s existing dam infrastructure, and only three percent of the United States’ 80,000 dams are used to generate clean hydroelectric power.


“The Reliable Investment in Vital Energy Reauthorization Act (RIVER Act) is commonsense legislation that is a key component to an all-of-the-above energy strategy,” said Gardner. “Since only three percent of the nation’s 80,000 dams are used to generate clean hydroelectric power, it’s important we have the tools to retrofit these existing dams to produce electricity. Colorado has been able to utilize this program in the past to bring hydropower to communities across the Western Slope, and I’m looking forward to working with interested stakeholders to bring new hydropower opportunities to more of Colorado.”


"Senator Gardner understands how important hydropower is to Colorado,” said Kurt Johnson, President of the Western Small Hydro Association. “Senator Gardner's RIVER Act will help ensure that Colorado continues as a national leader in new small hydropower development on existing dams, canals and pipelines. We're excited to support him as he works to get his legislation signed into law."




Cory Gardner is a member of the U.S. Senate serving Colorado. He sits on the Energy & Natural Resources Committee, the Foreign Relations Committee, the Commerce, Science, & Transportation Committee, and the Budget Committee, and is the Chairman of the Subcommittee on East Asia, the Pacific, and International Cybersecurity Policy and Subcommittee on Energy.

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