WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representatives Greg Stanton (AZ-04) and David Schweikert (AZ-01) celebrated House passage of their bipartisan legislation which enables the exploration of constructing additional pumped storage hydropower facilities in the Salt River reservoir system to keep energy costs low for Arizonans, help stabilize the state's electric grid during peak demand, and boost the supply of affordable and reliable energy. The legislation now heads to the Senate for consideration.

Pumped storage hydroelectricity allows water to be pumped from a lower reservoir to an upper reservoir when energy demand is low. When energy demand is high and power is needed on the grid, the upper reservoir is released downhill back into the lower reservoir and run through hydropower turbines which can generate up to 10-12 hours of reliable energy.

“I'm proud the House overwhelmingly passed our bipartisan bill to help facilitate the innovative development of pumped storage hydropower, and I’m grateful to Congressman Schweikert for his partnership,” said Rep. Stanton. “Not only do pumped storage projects provide greater flexibility and improve reliability in our energy grid, they cut utility costs for Arizona families and businesses.”

“I am glad to see the House come together to pass our legislation which enables the development of additional pumped-storage hydropower sites on the Salt River, further increasing the supply of affordable and reliable energy for communities across central Arizona,” said Rep. Schweikert. “As our state's economy and population continue to explode, we must embrace long-term energy storage technologies to lower costs for Arizona residents. I'm proud to have worked with Rep. Stanton to shepherd this bill through the House, and I look forward to its passage in the Senate as it moves one step closer to becoming law.”

“SRP applauds House passage of H.R. 1607, a bill that will enable further evaluation of pumped storage sites for long duration energy storage resources,” said Salt River Project GM & CEO Jim Pratt. “We greatly appreciate the leadership of Rep. Schweikert and Rep. Stanton, the lead House co-sponsors, and for the support of the entire Arizona delegation. Based on SRP’s projected customer growth and energy demand, there will be an increasing need to utilize reliable long duration storage, and we look forward to the Senate considering this legislation without delay.”

The House Natural Resources Committee passed the bipartisan pumped storage hydropower legislation by unanimous consent on July 19.

  • The full bill text is available here.

U.S. Senators Mark Kelly (D-AZ) and Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ) introduced companion legislation in the Senate in March.