Business | Environment

Crow Tribe reaches hydropower deal with Bureau of Reclamation

The Yellowtail Afterbay Dam in Montana. Photo from National Park Service

The Crow Tribe of Montana reached a deal with the Bureau of Reclamation to sell hydropower from a dam on the reservation.

The agreement is part of the Crow Tribe Water Rights Settlement Act of 2010. Under the settlement, the tribe holds the exclusive right to develop and market power generated at the Yellowtail Afterbay Dam.

"The Crow Tribe is excited to embark on the tribe's exclusive right under our water settlement to develop hydropower at Yellowtail Afterbay Dam and to begin the critical work to bring the benefits of hydropower to the reservation and our tribal membership," Chairman Darrin Old Coyote said in a press release.

The tribe will be responsible for designing, developing and operating the project. The Bureau of Reclamation will provide technical assistance..

"This is an excellent opportunity for development of new hydropower capacity on existing infrastructure," Deputy Secretary Michael L. Connor, who previously served as Commissioner of the Bureau of Reclamation, said in the press release. "Working through the Bureau of Reclamation, Interior is pleased to assist the Crow Tribe on its Yellowtail Afterbay hydro development, resulting in clean, renewable energy, and creating vital jobs in the process."

The Crow water settlement was signed into law in 2010 as part of H.R.4783, the Claims Settlement Act of 2010. The deal confirms 650,000 acre-feet of water for the tribe and authorizes $460 million in payments and infrastructure on the reservation.

Get the Story:
U.S. Interior, Crow tribe reach dam construction agreement (The Billings Gazette 4/2)

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Bureau of Reclamation seeks $20.3M for tribal water projects (3/31)

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