Haler’s bill to allow for ‘renewable’ hydroelectric power in irrigation ditches passes state Senate
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Haler's bill to allow for 'renewable' hydroelectric power in irrigation ditches passes state Senate
'If the technology and desire exists, landowners should be able to reap the reward of using their water for multiple uses,' says Haler
Washington state is one of the only states in the nation that does not recognize hydro power as renewable energy. However, hydro power created in certain drainage pipes, irrigation canals and other water pipes would now be considered as 'green' energy under provisions of a bill that awaits Gov. Jay Inslee's signature.
House Bill 2733, sponsored by Rep. Larry Haler, R-Richland, recognizes that water has multiple uses and any opportunity to capture and use potential energy from water should be utilized. His bill would allow small hydroelectric projects in irrigations canals to count as renewable energy under the Energy Independence Act, created by voters via I-937 in 2006.
“Many of our farmers, ranchers, orchardists and other landowners have water moving around their property for various reasons,” said Haler. “If the technology and desire exists, landowners should be able to reap the reward of using their water for multiple uses.”
Haler's bill would apply to hydroelectric generation from projects created after March 31, 1999 where the generation facility is located in irrigation pipes, irrigation canals, water pipes used for domestic use, and wastewater pipes where the generation does not result in new water diversions or impoundments.
“This is an issue I've worked on for the past few years,” said Haler. “It took some time to educate lawmakers in urban areas about both the need for this bill and how the process of capturing the energy from these projects works. I'm grateful for the support we received from ranchers, farmers, orchardists and landowners back home, as well as the support we received on the other side of the aisle. This has been a bipartisan process and I'm looking forward to the governor signing this bill into law.”
The 2014 legislative session is scheduled to end March 13.
###Washington State House Republican Communications