New DOE Hydropower Study

According to an April 29th Denver Business Journal article, Colorado and other western states are being positioned as ground zero in what appears to be a potential massive new push by the federal government to develop new hydroelectric power capacity in the U.S. That’s the underlying assumption in a new study by the U.S. Department of Energy. The report, New Stream-Reach Development Resource Assessment, by the Energy Department's Oak Ridge National Laboratory, estimates that 65 gigawatts of additional hydropower could be developed nationwide—3.8 gigawatts in Colorado. To put that into perspective, 65 gigawatts of power is roughly equivalent to all the existing hydropower in the U.S. today. In Colorado, 3.8 gigawatts of hydro nearly approaches all of the existing hydroelectric power being generated in the entire Colorado River basin, including Flaming Gorge, Glen Canyon Dam, and Hoover Dam, as well as the Aspinall Unit dams on the Gunnison River.