flood risk management that is less expensive, puts fewer lives and less property at risk from floods, and provides greater environmental benefits and contributes to community resilience and sustainability. They also provide opportunities for the Corps of Engineers to transition from its previous leadership role, primarily through civil works construction, to being a leading federal partner in flood risk management via more technical support and collaboration with states and communities.
Hydropower generation is not among the primary missions of the Corps of Engineers, but the Corps has developed numerous hydropower projects in conjunction with its flood risk management and navigation missions and is a national leader in generating hydroelectric power. Hydropower facilities represent an important component of the Corps “hard infrastructure” that is the focus of this report. These facilities are important because of their large number and their unique role as a revenue generator for the Corps and the federal treasury. Federal hydropower resources involve projects built and operated by three agencies: the Corps, the Bureau of Reclamation, and the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA). The national hydropower industry is approximately one-half federal and one-half nonfederal in terms of generating capacity. Of these three agencies, the Corps has the most projects. It operates 75 power plants with a total rated capacity of 20,500 megawatts (MW; Sale, 2010). In addition, there are another 90 nonfederal hydropower plants located at Corps dams with a total capacity of 2,300 MW (Sale, 2010).
Power generated at the federal projects is sold and distributed by four Power Marketing Administrations (PMAs), which are part of the Department of Energy and responsible for marketing federal hydropower. The four PMAs— Bonneville, Western, Southwestern, and Southeastern-market power to much of the continental United States. Bonneville Power Administration is the PMA with the most Corps project generating capacity, and the Corps’ largest hydropower facilities are on the Columbia River.
As in its other mission areas, the Corps hydropower facilities are facing the challenges of an aging infrastructure and limited access to sources of revenue for adequate maintenance and repair. There are important legal and contractu-