Bureau of Reclamation Hydropower Lease of Power Privilege: Case Studies and Considerations

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


This report analyzes the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation's (Reclamation) lease of power privilege (LOPP) regulatory process for a nonfederal entity to use a Reclamation jurisdictional dam or conduit for power generation. Recent federal initiatives encouraging hydropower development at federally-owned facilities coupled with Reclamation's hydroelectric potential has led to an increased interest in powering Reclamation dams and conduits through the LOPP process. During the last five years, 23 of the 36 total LOPP projects (76 MW) have been initiated and are at some phase of the development process. Resource assessments analyzed in this report identify over 360 MW of hydroelectric potential at Reclamation-owned dams and conduits. This report provides considerations from Reclamation staff involved in the LOPP regulatory process and developers that have received an LOPP and are currently generating hydropower at a Reclamation dam or conduit. The authors also analyze LOPP regulatory processing timelines before and after the implementation of federal initiatives to streamline the LOPP process and provide case studies of hydropower projects that have obtained an LOPP.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages41
StatePublished - 2018

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-6A20-71092


  • Bureau of Reclamation
  • hydropower
  • LOPP


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