LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Today, Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel testified before the U.S. Senate Energy and Mineral Resources Committee’s Water and Power Subcommittee on issues and opportunities facing WAPA as it continues to invest in a connected energy future.
Gabriel shared with the members what WAPA is doing to keep pace with industry changes, strengthen grid resilience, maintain affordable costs for customers and prepare its operations, assets and people for a dynamic energy frontier.
“With $4.3 billion in assets, WAPA represents one of the top 10 largest transmission organizations in the nation,” said Gabriel. “In the next 10 years, we anticipate investing $1.6 billion in our assets so it can continue to deliver reliable power across the West. We need to make well-informed and realistic decisions today about how to make those investments to support future needs.”
Other testimony highlights included WAPA’s efforts to bolster physical security and cybersecurity, optimize on the organization’s maturing asset management program to make data-driven decisions, explore new technologies such as battery storage and artificial intelligence and pursue public-private partnerships to increase benefits to customers and the nation.
WAPA’s hydropower rates to its nearly 700 customers are often among the lowest in the country, supporting the prosperity and viability of rural economies, Native American tribes, irrigation districts and other customers, who, in turn, serve more than 40 million Americans throughout the West.
“In today’s increasingly complex and connected world, success requires close collaboration and mutually beneficial partnerships to preserve the value of WAPA,” said Gabriel. “Through transparent and respectful partnerships with our customers and others, we can invest appropriately in a connected energy future and ensure our ability to supply premier power and transmission services at the lowest cost consistent with sound business principles.”
Read Gabriel’s remarks
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, 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.