Cantwell, Murkowski, Stabenow, Sullivan Introduced Bipartisan Bill to Spur Hydropower Upgrades, Improve Dam Safety and Dam Removal
Bipartisan legislation would establish a new 30% tax incentive for dam safety and hydropower environmental improvements and to remove obsolete river obstructions
(WASHINGTON, D.C. (December 9, 2022) – Today, U.S. Senators Maria Cantwell (D-WA) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), along with Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and Dan Sullivan (R-AK), introduced legislation that will help ensure that the existing U.S. hydropower fleet continues to provide flexible, carbon-free generation to millions of homes and businesses.
The Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity and River Restoration Act of 2022 creates a new 30% investment tax credit to encourage environmental enhancements and dam safety improvements. Eligible investments include adding fish-friendly turbines and fish passage infrastructure, managing river sediments to improve habitat, upgrading or replacing floodgates and spillways, and improving public use of and access to public waterways impacted by existing dams. The bill also establishes a new federal cost-share to encourage the removal of obsolete river obstructions.
“Our nation’s efforts to transition to a clean energy grid has stopped just short of the finish line, as it failed to recognize the importance of hydropower’s existing fleet,” said Malcolm Woolf, President and CEO of the National Hydropower Association “Hydro powers 30 million American homes with zero-carbon electricity. With the right tools, our industry can make environmental enhancements, bolster dam safety and prevent the hydropower fleet from retiring – outcomes that will lead to healthier rivers and a more reliable grid. Simply put, today’s hydropower fleet complements other renewables by providing power when the sun isn’t shining and wind isn’t blowing. We applaud the bipartisan leadership of Sens. Cantwell, Murkowski, Stabenow and Sullivan for recognizing that we can’t ensure a reliable grid without the nation’s second largest renewable electricity resource.”