University of San Diego

San Diego Journal of Climate & Energy Law

Library of Congress Authority File


This Article examines hydroelectric resources’ ability to assist states throughout the West and across the country in meeting their statutory and policy goals of reduced or zero carbon emissions, while maintaining reliability. Extreme weather events, and associated costs, are not isolated to the Western Interconnection, but rather increasingly impact other regions and their end-use customers. In its 2021 U.S. Hydropower Market Report, the Department of Energy (DOE) noted that, in nearly every Balancing Authority Area assessed, hydropower was more extensively used for hourly ramping flexibility than any other resource. Additional services hydroelectric resources provide, including storage capacity and black start service to restore power without assistance from the grid, are critical in a context where extreme weather is the new norm.