FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: April 12, 2018
CONTACT: Lisa Meiman, firstname.lastname@example.org, 720-962-7411
LAKEWOOD, Colo. – Today, Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel testified before the House of Representatives Water, Power and Oceans Subcommittee on the organization’s Fiscal Year 2019 budget, accomplishments over the past year and the valuable role WAPA plays in the energy industry.
WAPA’s FY 2019 budget request remains flat from last year at $1.2 billion. Less than 6 percent is derived from traditional appropriations, which are repaid to the U.S. Treasury with interest. The remaining 94 percent, or $1.1 billion, will come from authorized offsetting and alternative funding resources.
These funds will support:
- Marketing and delivering reliable, renewable, cost-based hydroelectric power and transmission services.
- Bolstering WAPA’s physical and cybersecurity posture and capabilities in the face of increasingly sophisticated threats.
- Reinvesting in WAPA’s 17,000-mile, high-voltage transmission system and accompanying facilities.
- Supporting rural communities, military installations, Native American tribes, Department of Energy laboratories, water and agricultural communities, and cities and towns.
Last year, WAPA successfully sold and delivered more than 26,000 gigawatt-hours of renewable, reliable, cost-based hydroelectric power to more than 700 customers in 15 states. WAPA’s customers, in turn, provided this power to more than 40 million Americans.
More than 70 percent of WAPA’s customers are experiencing stable or decreased rates in 2018, which are also equal to or lower than industry averages. The at-cost rates benefit rural economies across the West and Midwest.
According to Gabriel, the organization is also embarking on an ambitious 10-year plan with its customers to invest $1.6 billion in the transmission infrastructure owned, operated and maintained by WAPA—the largest investment in these resources since their original construction.
Part of this reinvestment will be achieved through public-private partnerships across the enterprise; three current projects are expected to add 3,600 megawatts of capacity to Arizona, New Mexico and California as well as replace and upgrade WAPA’s existing infrastructure at no cost to customers or the government.
“The industry is experiencing a wave of changes and opportunities the likes of which have not been seen in the past 50 years,” said Gabriel. “WAPA’s mission of providing at-cost, reliable, renewable power remains the same. Thanks to the investments and wise decisions we are making today, our services will provide value to our customers in a dynamic and complex energy frontier.”
About WAPA: Western Area Power Administration annually markets and transmits more than 25,000 gigawatt-hours of clean, renewable power from 56 federal hydroelectric powerplants owned and operated by the Bureau of Reclamation, 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 www.wapa.gov.