There is one summary for this bill. Bill summaries are authored by CRS.

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Introduced in Senate (07/13/2010)

Hydropower Improvement Act of 2010 - Expresses the sense of Congress that the United States should increase substantially the capacity and generation of clean, renewable hydropower resources which will improve environmental quality in the United States and support hundreds of thousands of green energy jobs.

Instructs the Secretary of Energy to establish: (1) a grants program for increased hydropower production; and (2) a plan for research, development, and demonstration to increase hydropower capacity.

Directs the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to issue a notice of inquiry for the licensing of proposed minimal impact hydropower projects that take not more than two years from the beginning of the prefiling licensing process to the issuance of a FERC license.

Amends the Federal Power Act to authorize FERC to extend the term of a preliminary permit once for not more than two additional years if it finds that the permittee has carried out activities under the permit in good faith and with reasonable diligence.

Directs FERC to enter into a memorandum of understanding with relevant federal agencies that have conditioning authority to: (1) establish a coordinated and streamlined approach to any environmental impact statement or similar analysis relating to the consideration of conduit hydropower projects; and (2) develop an expedited approval process for conduit hydropower projects.

Directs the Commissioner of Reclamation and FERC to conduct public workshops on and develop pilot conduit hydropower projects. Requires the Commissioner also to study and report to Congress on barriers to non-federal hydropower development at Bureau of Reclamation projects.

Instructs the Secretary to study and report to Congress about federal land that is well-suited for pumped storage sites and is located near existing or potential sites of intermittent renewable resource development, such as wind farms.

Amends the Energy Independence and Security Act of 2007 to direct the Secretary to establish a national renewable energy construction grants program.

Directs the President to report to Congress on actions taken by the Department of Energy (DOE), the Department of the Interior, and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out the memorandum of understanding on hydropower entered into on March 24, 2010.

Declares this Act inapplicable to the Federal Power Marketing Administrations.