Kelly, Sinema, and Schweikert Introduce Bill to Expand Affordable, Reliable Hydropower in Arizona

The bill would keep energy costs low, help stabilize the electric grid during peak demand, and boost the supply of affordable and reliable energy

Today, Arizona Senator Mark Kelly introduced bipartisan legislation, supported by Senator Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Representative David Schweikert (R-AZ-01), and Representative Greg Stanton (D-AZ-04) 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 bipartisan bill would help enable the exploration of additional pumped-storage hydropower facilities to the Salt River reservoir system. Pumped hydropower storage uses excess electricity when demand is low to fill a higher elevation reservoir that can be used to generate hydropower to provide electricity whenever it is needed, such as times when electricity demand and prices are high.

“I’m glad to lead this bipartisan legislation for Arizona, which will pave the way for more affordable and reliable energy and boost energy storage. I’ll keep working with Republicans and Democrats to make sure Arizona continues to lead the way on renewable energy solutions,” said Senator Kelly, a member of the Senate Committee on Energy and Natural Resources.

“Through affordable, cleaner energy storage, our bill lowers energy costs for Arizonans,” said Senator Sinema.

“An all-of-the-above energy strategy is essential to meeting Arizona’s growing economic and household consumption demands,” said Rep. David Schweikert. “We need a wide range of domestic technologies to ensure grid reliability and find ways to harness a diverse energy portfolio which isn’t overly reliant on foreign supply chains. I’m proud to introduce this bipartisan legislation that provides clarity for evaluating proposed pumped storage sites in Arizona’s First Congressional District.”

“Based on projected customer growth and energy demand, there will be an increasing need to utilize long duration storage,” said Salt River Project CEO & GM Mike Hummel. “This technology can store renewable energy generated during the day, and can provide that energy to customers throughout the night when renewable resources are ramping down. That is why SRP is exploring the potential for new pumped-storage hydroelectricity on its power system. In addition to more than 800 megawatts of four-hour battery storage SRP will have online by 2026, pumped storage will further diversify SRP’s capabilities, providing 10 to 12 hours of needed energy storage.  This legislation will enable SRP to more fully evaluate proposed pumped storage sites that support these future plans.”