Imperial Irrigation inks new Hoover Dam hydro contract

Imperial Irrigation District (IID) will be delivering an additional 3 MW of carbon-free electricity to its customers over the course of the next 50 years, thanks to an agreement to secure additional energy from Hoover Dam, IID said in October.

During its regular meeting Oct. 4, the IID Board of Directors approved the Boulder Canyon Project Implementation Agreement and electric services contract that will provide the Imperial Irrigation District with an additional 3 MW of renewable energy from the famous dam, bringing the reallocation total up to 10 MW.

Under the Hoover Power Allocation Act of 2011, 11.5 MW of energy were allocated to California entities. The IID competed for the power with 33 Native American tribes and 74 non-tribal entities, IID noted.

“This is an example of how IID is working to diversify its energy portfolio while, at the same time, investing in low cost energy resources,” said IID Board President Norma Sierra Galindo. “It serves as an important reminder of the true nexus between water and power.”

IID will receive the energy at Blythe, paying an all-in rate of between $27/MWh-to-$29/MWh, as compared to IID’s all-in average which ranges between $50 to-$75/MWh. Delivery will begin Oct. 1, 2017.

IID staff procured transmission service across the Western Area Power Administration in five-year increments, affording the district roll-over rights.

Historically, IID receives additional hydroelectric generation from the Parker Davis system. The amount of generation received varies by season, between 8 MW and 26 MW, IID said in a news release..

Owned by the federal Bureau of Reclamation, Hoover Dam was completed in 1935. Legislation enacted in 1928, which called for the construction of the dam, included hydroelectric power contracts to help fund the cost of the dam.

The dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is located on the border of Nevada and Arizona. It provides energy to a number of utilities in the West. Initial power contracts took effect in 1937 and were for duration of 50 years. Prior to their 1987 expiration, Congress approved 30-year renewals; current contracts expire September 2017.

About Wayne Barber 4201 Articles
Wayne Barber, Chief Analyst for the GenerationHub, has been covering power generation, energy and natural resources issues at national publications for more than 20 years. Prior to joining PennWell he was editor of Generation Markets Week at SNL Financial for nine years. He has also worked as a business journalist at both McGraw-Hill and Financial Times Energy. Wayne also worked as a newspaper reporter for several years. During his career has visited nuclear reactors and coal mines as well as coal and natural gas power plants. Wayne can be reached at