The Secretary of the Interior is authorized, under such general regulations as he may prescribe, to contract for the storage of water in said reservoir and for the delivery thereof at such points on the river and on said canal as may be agreed upon, for irrigation and domestic uses, and generation of electrical energy and delivery at the switchboard to States, municipal corporations, political subdivisions, and private corporations of electrical energy generated at said dam, upon charges that will provide revenue which, in addition to other revenue accruing under the reclamation law and under this subchapter, will in his judgment cover all expenses of operation and maintenance incurred by the United States on account of works constructed under this subchapter and the payments to the United States under subdivision (b) of section 617c of this title. Contracts respecting water for irrigation and domestic uses shall be for permanent service and shall conform to paragraph (a) of section 617c of this title. No person shall have or be entitled to have the use for any purpose of the water stored as aforesaid except by contract made as herein stated.
After the repayments to the United States of all money advanced with interest, charges shall be on such basis and the revenues derived therefrom shall be kept in a separate fund to be expended within the Colorado River Basin as may hereafter be prescribed by the Congress.
General and uniform regulations shall be prescribed by the said Secretary for the awarding of contracts for the sale and delivery of electrical energy, and for renewals under subdivision (b) of this section, and in making such contracts the following shall govern:
(a) Duration of contracts for electrical energy; price of water and electrical energy to yield reasonable returns; readjustments of prices
No contract for electrical energy or for generation of electrical energy shall be of longer duration than fifty years from the date at which such energy is ready for delivery.
Contracts made pursuant to subdivision (a) of this section shall be made with a view to obtaining reasonable returns and shall contain provisions whereby at the end of fifteen years from the date of their execution and every ten years thereafter, there shall be readjustment of the contract, upon the demand of either party thereto, either upward or downward as to price, as the Secretary of the Interior may find to be justified by competitive conditions at distributing points or competitive centers, and with provisions under which disputes or disagreements as to interpretation or performance of such contract shall be determined either by arbitration or court proceedings, the Secretary of the Interior being authorized to act for the United States in such readjustments or proceedings.
(b) Renewal of contracts for electrical energy
The holder of any contract for electrical energy not in default thereunder shall be entitled to a renewal thereof upon such terms and conditions as may be authorized or required under the then existing laws and regulations, unless the property of such holder dependent for its usefulness on a continuation of the contract be purchased or acquired and such holder be compensated for damages to its property, used and useful in the transmission and distribution of such electrical energy and not taken, resulting from the termination of the supply.
(c) Applicants for purchase of water and electrical energy; preferences
Contracts for the use of water and necessary privileges for the generation and distribution of hydroelectric energy or for the sale and delivery of electrical energy shall be made with responsible applicants therefor who will pay the price fixed by the said Secretary with a view to meeting the revenue requirements herein provided for. In case of conflicting applications, if any, such conflicts shall be resolved by the said Secretary, after hearing, with due regard to the public interest, and in conformity with the policy expressed in the Federal Power Act [16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.] as to conflicting applications for permits and licenses, except that preference to applicants for the use of water and appurtenant works and privileges necessary for the generation and distribution of hydroelectric energy, or for delivery at the switchboard of a hydroelectric plant, shall be given, first, to a State for the generation or purchase of electric energy for use in the State, and the States of Arizona, California, and Nevada shall be given equal opportunity as such applicants.
The rights covered by such preference shall be contracted for by such State within six months after notice by the Secretary of the Interior and to be paid for on the same terms and conditions as may be provided in other similar contracts made by said Secretary: Provided, however, That no application of a State or a political subdivision for an allocation of water for power purposes or of electrical energy shall be denied or another application in conflict therewith be granted on the ground that the bond issue of such State or political subdivision necessary to enable the applicant to utilize such water and appurtenant works and privileges necessary for the generation and distribution of hydroelectric energy or the electrical energy applied for, has not been authorized or marketed, until after a reasonable time, to be determined by the said Secretary, has been given to such applicant to have such bond issue authorized and marketed.
(d) Transmission lines for electrical energy; use; rights of way over public and reserved lands
Any agency receiving a contract for electrical energy equivalent to one hundred thousand firm horsepower, or more, may, when deemed feasible by the said Secretary, from engineering and economic considerations and under general regulations prescribed by him, be required to permit any other agency having contracts hereunder for less than the equivalent of twenty-five thousand firm horsepower, upon application to the Secretary of the Interior made within sixty days from the execution of the contract of the agency the use of whose transmission line is applied for, to participate in the benefits and use of any main transmission line constructed or to be constructed by the former for carrying such energy (not exceeding, however, one-fourth the capacity of such line), upon payment by such other agencies of a reasonable share of the cost of construction, operation, and maintenance thereof.
The use is authorized of such public and reserved lands of the United States as may be necessary or convenient for the construction, operation, and maintenance of main transmission lines to transmit said electrical energy.