DOE and DOI Offer $26.6 Million for Advanced Hydropower Technologies

April 13, 2011

DOE and the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) announced on April 5 that they are offering $26.6 million in funding for research and development projects to advance hydropower technology. This initiative, taking effect over the next three to four years, is focused on developing innovative technologies that can produce power more efficiently, reduce costs, and increase sustainable hydropower generation at sites not previously considered practical.

The funding announcement seeks environmentally responsible projects that increase the generation of reliable hydropower for the U.S. electricity supply. The four areas for selected projects are: sustainable small hydropower technologies that can be quickly and efficiently deployed in existing or constructed waterways; environmental mitigation technologies for conventional hydropower that increase electricity generation while mitigating fish and habitat impacts, including more efficient, fish-friendly turbines; sustainable pumped storage hydropower projects already in the construction pipeline, for which DOE intends to provide both financial and technical assistance; and innovative, low-head hydropower technologies for testing at a DOI Bureau of Reclamation facility that currently doesn't include hydropower. DOE recently identified 70 such facilities that could generate up to one million megawatt-hours of electricity; see the April 6 story from the EERE Network News.

The solicitation is from DOE's Wind and Water Power Program. Applicants must be institutions of higher learning, private entities, state or local governments, or consortia formed from these three types of entities. Mandatory letters of intent are due on May 5, and completed applications are due on June 6. See the DOE press release, the funding opportunity announcement on Grants.gov and FedConnect, and the Wind and Water Power Program website.