WPTO Announces More Than $32 Million for Hydropower Funding Opportunities

Bookmark and Share

Having trouble viewing this email? View it as a Web page.


Water Power Technologies Office

Image announcing the newsletter name "Hydro Headlines" and an image of hydropower.

Welcome to Hydro Headlines, a monthly snapshot of hydropower news and happenings. This month’s newsletter takes approximately five minutes to read. 

Reach out to us at WaterPowerTechnologiesOffice@ee.doe.gov with any inquiries or suggestions.

Icon for Hydropower.

Did You Know?

In 2021, hydroelectricity accounted for about 6.3% of U.S. utility-scale electricity generation and 31.5% of utility-scale renewable electricity generation.

Announcements & Opportunities

Water flowing over a dam.

DOE Announces $28 Million Program to Advance Hydropower for Clean Energy: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued a Notice of Intent to provide $28 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance and preserve hydropower as a critical source of clean energy. The proposed funding opportunities will support testing of innovative technologies, development approaches, or construction techniques to reduce time, cost, or risks associated with hydropower and pumped storage hydropower development; conduct studies to further the development and deployment of permitted pumped storage hydropower projects; and seek stakeholder insights to inform hydropower research.

WPTO Releases Notice of Intent to Fund Fish Passage Research: DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) released a Notice of Intent to issue a $4 million funding opportunity to advance innovative fish passage and protection techniques. The proposed funding opportunity will support manufacturers, equipment vendors, and research organizations in gathering relevant information and data to verify effects of hydropower infrastructure on fish and the performance of innovative fish passage technologies.

DOE Distributes $13.5 Million to Record Number of Recipients for Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program: WPTO and DOE’s new Grid Deployment Office announced $13.5 million in incentive payments to 55 hydroelectric facility operators from the Section 242: Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program. The funding from Fiscal Year 2021 was used to provide incentive payments to a record number of recipients, 18 of which were new applicants. 

Products & Publications

Celebrating National Hydropower Day With WPTO Director Jennifer Garson: To celebrate National Hydropower Day on Aug. 24, WPTO Director Jennifer Garson highlighted ways WPTO is helping build cleaner communities and making important contributions toward the United States’ goals of achieving a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.

Secretary Joined NHA for an Interview on National Hydropower Day: U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm sat down with Malcolm Woolf, president and chief executive officer of the National Hydropower Association, for an interview on National Hydropower Day. During the Aug. 24, 2022, interview, Secretary Granholm discussed the recent passage of the Inflation Reduction Act, opportunities for existing hydropower facilities in the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, and recent funding announcements from WPTO. 

EERE Success Story: Innovative Water Turbines Allow More Fish to Pass Safely Through Hydropower Dams: With funding from WPTO, Natel Energy, working with Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, recently tested its Restoration Hydro Turbine, which incorporates elements like thicker blades to make it safer for fish to navigate through hydropower facilities without sacrificing electricity generation performance or efficiency. 

Pumped Storage Hydropower: A Key Part of Our Clean Energy Future: WPTO invests in innovative pumped storage hydropower technologies and research to understand and determine the value of the potential benefits of existing and prospective advanced pumped storage hydropower facilities. As the country adds more renewable energy to the power grid, it will need reliable energy storage, and pumped storage hydropower is nothing if not reliable. Learn more about pumped storage hydropower and its role in the clean energy future.

Workshop Explores Advanced Manufacturing for Hydropower: Hydropower stakeholders met for a two-day workshop at Oak Ridge National Laboratory to identify existing challenges for continued hydropower growth and collaborate on innovative solutions, including the use of advanced manufacturing. Participants discussed challenges in conventional hydropower manufacturing, including maintaining and repairing components, the cost and availability of replacement parts, and new supply chain hurdles in acquiring materials.

Upcoming Events

STEMtember Sessions: Careers in Renewable Power

TOMORROW, Sept. 15, 2022, 12–2 p.m. ET, Online

Join DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) for a discussion on careers in renewable power. This two-hour webinar will feature leaders and employees from EERE who will speak briefly about the importance of its mission, why now is the most exciting time to be part of the clean energy revolution, and the many types of career opportunities available within renewable energy, including water power.

National Laboratory Webinar: Hydropower Permitting Process

TOMORROW, Sept. 15, 2022, 1 p.m. ET, Online

DOE’s Hydropower Regulatory and Permitting Information Desktop (RAPID) Toolkit is helping to make hydropower regulatory processes easier for agencies, developers, and industry stakeholders to navigate. In the National Renewable Energy Laboratory’s upcoming Hydropower RAPID Toolkit update webinar, participants will get an inside look at how to best utilize the toolkit for developing hydropower projects. 

Clean Energy on Mine Lands Workshops

DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is hosting three workshops to help shape $500 million in upcoming Bipartisan Infrastructure Law funding for 2-5 clean energy demonstration projects, which could include pumped storage hydropower. To attend:

Secretary Granholm at the Global Clean Energy Action Forum

Sept. 21–23, 2022, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Governments, international organizations, the private sector, academia, civil society, and early-career researchers, innovators, and policymakers will join together for the Global Clean Energy Action Forum. Focused on promoting clean energy around the world, the event features a high-level plenary talk, topical roundtable discussions with energy and science ministers from 31 countries, CEOs, and experts; side events; technology demonstrations; and other activities.

In Case You Missed It

Hydropower Educational Resources Get Energy Flowing: Just in time for the return to school, WPTO published an article highlighting a range of educational resources to teach students of all ages about hydropower and highlight programs designed for those about to embark on clean energy careers.

Social Spotlight

WPTO on Twitter — Aug. 22, 2022

Ocean waves

This news can't be watered down! 

We're launching $28M+ from POTUS' Infrastructure Law to advance hydropower research and development - giving American families another way to access clean, affordable energy.

Follow along on EERE's Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook channels for more #WaterWednesday content each week.

WPTO/DOE in the News

Hydro in the Headlines