FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Oct. 8, 2019
LAKEWOOD, Colo. — Western Area Power Administration has returned $281 million to the U.S. Treasury in its fiscal year 2019 return, which includes $266 million returned to the Reclamation Fund. Over the last five years, WAPA has returned $1.8 billion to Treasury.
“Good hydropower conditions and commitment to sound fiscal management have resulted in another healthy return, which supports maintaining or lowering customer rates while still meeting the repayment requirements for the federal power and water infrastructure in our territory,” said Administrator and CEO Mark A. Gabriel.
Returns to Treasury help repay the original investment, plus interest, for 57 hydroelectric dams and more than 17,000 miles of high-voltage transmission infrastructure owned, operated and maintained by WAPA, among other repayment needs.
WAPA also made progress on its reserve balance strategies, developed in concert with customers, to effectively meet its core mission requirements in the face of contingencies, such as prolonged drought, lapses in appropriations and delayed infrastructure projects.
These strategies provide a sustainable funding source for annual operations and maintenance, capital funding and purchase power and wheeling.
- Annual operations and maintenance funds allow WAPA to sustain operation during emergencies, continuing resolutions or lapses in appropriations.
- Capital funding allows WAPA to begin multi-year capital projects and provides flexibility with schedule and priority changes.
- Purchase power and wheeling reserves strengthen WAPA’s ability to deliver on contractual power commitments to customers during unanticipated adverse conditions where hydropower may not be available.
Reserves balances for capital funding and annual operations and maintenance purposes remain consistent with strategy targets. Reserves for purchase power and wheeling increased by nearly $80 million over the year and are now nearing the appropriate level to manage costs and risk during a long-term drought or other emergency.
More on the WAPA’s purchase power and wheeling program is included in the Department of Energy’s September 2019 Report to Congress titled Power Marketing Administrations Execution of Current Receipt Authority for Purchase Power and Wheeling Expenditures.
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.