WAPA » Newsroom » News releases » 2017

Wholesale electric rate for federal hydropower decreases in nine states

WAPA's Media Line: 720-962-7411

CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, 720-962-7411,

LAKEWOOD, Colorado – Starting Jan. 1, 2018, electric utilities receiving federal hydropower in nine Rocky Mountain and northern Great Plains states will see lower firm hydropower rates from Western Area Power Administration for the second year in a row.

The lower rates will result in savings of roughly $40 million dollars annually for customers.

Firm power customers with contracts with WAPA's Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin – Eastern Division will experience a 15-percent decrease in the composite rate, and customers with Loveland Area Projects contracts will see a 14–percent decrease.

The two projects serve 415 electric utilities in Montana, North Dakota, South Dakota, Iowa, Minnesota, Wyoming, Colorado, Kansas and Nebraska with federal hydropower and related services. ​

"In addition to a few good water years, the collaborative relationship with our customers to diligently repay historic drought costs early means a brighter future for our customers and the communities they serve," said Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel. "Through our partnerships, we are able to adjust to changing conditions that affect hydropower generation, ensuring that valuable, affordable hydropower will power the West for decades to come."  

As long as the areas maintain good or average water conditions and power generation, these rates could remain in place for five years.

Both projects saw slight increases in the base component charges due to inflation and forecasted work plans by WAPA and the two generating agencies—Bureau of Reclamation and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, the drought adder component charges decreased to zero, reducing the overall composite rates.


The drought adder component charge was created to repay deferred drought costs incurred during below-normal generation in the first decade of the 21st century. Based on the current and projected water and storage conditions and resulting generation forecasts, the remaining unpaid drought costs are scheduled to be fully repaid in Fiscal Year 2018, a year ahead of schedule.

Pick-Sloan Missouri River Basin – Eastern Division markets federal hydropower generated at seven dams along the Missouri River in Montana and the Dakotas. Loveland Area Projects markets from 19 powerplants in Colorado, Montana and Wyoming. The power is sold to statutorily defined customers, including municipalities, rural electric cooperatives, public utility districts, federal and state agencies, irrigation districts and Native American tribes.

Firm power rates for 2018 and 2017

 2017 Composite Rate (mills/kilowatt-hour)2018 Composite Rate (mills/kilowatt-hour)Percent Change
Loveland Area Projects36.5631.44-14%
Pick-Sloan Eastern Division28.2524.00-15%


More information available at www.w​​ ​


About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt hours of clean, renewable power from 57 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and International Boundary and Water Commission in 15 western and central states. It is part of the Department of Energy. Follow us on Twitter @WesternAreaPowr or visit the website at ​​

Page Last Updated: 9/16/2020 11:20 AM