WPTO Releases Funding Opportunities for Hydropower and Marine Energy

Bookmark and Share

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


Water Power Technologies Office

Banner for the Water Wire.

Nov. 16, 2022

Welcome to the Water Wire, a bimonthly snapshot of all things water power. This month’s newsletter takes approximately eight minutes to read. 

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

Icon for Hydropower.

Did You Know? 

Learn about WPTO’s cutting-edge water power projects and research by visiting the interactive, nationwide projects map.

Upcoming Deadlines

Announcements & Opportunities

Small, wide waterfall

DOE Releases $28 Million to Advance and Deploy Hydropower Technology: The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) issued three funding opportunities, totaling more than $28 million, to advance and preserve hydropower as a critical source of clean energy. Funded through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding will support the expansion of low-impact hydropower and pumped storage hydropower, the development of new pumped storage hydropower facilities, and engagement with key voices on issues like hydropower fleet modernization, sustainability, and environmental impacts. Visit the DOE Water Power Technologies Office’s (WPTO) funding opportunities page for more information on each funding opportunity, including deadlines.

WPTO Releases $10 Million Funding Opportunity to Advance Marine Energy Innovation: WPTO released a $10 million funding opportunity to accelerate the development and testing of marine energy technologies with a focus on wave and ocean current resources, such as wave-powered technology innovation and research and development for seawater desalination, as well as a feasibility assessment for an ocean current test facility. The deadline to submit concept papers is Dec. 2, 2022, at 5 p.m. ET, and full applications are due Feb. 24, 2023, at 5 p.m. ET. More information can be found on DOE’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) Exchange.

Deadline Approaching to Submit Applications for Marine Energy Graduate Student Research Program: WPTO and the Oak Ridge Institute for Science and Education are accepting applications for the Marine Energy Graduate Student Research Program. The program is accepting applications from all graduate-level (master’s and doctoral) students. The program is designed to advance students’ marine-energy-focused theses by providing access to the expertise, resources, and capabilities available at DOE offices, national laboratories, industry partners, and other approved facilities. Applications are due Dec. 2, 2022.

WPTO Opens $4 Million Funding Opportunity to Advance Fish Passage and Protection Technologies: WPTO released a $4 million funding opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of hydropower. This funding opportunity seeks to advance the technology readiness level of innovative fish passage and protection technologies through testing to verify technologies’ biological effects and performance. Concept papers are due by 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 5, 2022.

WPTO Releases Technical Assistance Opportunity to Advance Hydropower Technologies: WPTO released an opportunity for hydropower developers and other stakeholders to receive technical assistance from DOE national laboratories to advance hydropower’s role on the electricity grid through WPTO’s HydroWIRES Initiative. The deadline to submit statements of interest is Dec. 16, 2022.

DOE Seeks Public Comment on New $1 Billion Program for Rural or Remote Communities: DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations released a Request for Information on a new $1 billion program to improve energy generation in rural or remote communities across the country. Funded by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, the Energy Improvements in Rural or Remote Areas program will strengthen the resilience, reliability, and availability of energy systems, helping communities unlock the public health and cost-saving benefits that cleaner, more efficient energy provides. Request for Information responses are due Nov. 28, 2022.

WPTO Announces $35 Million in Funding to Advance Tidal and River Current Energy Systems: WPTO announced a notice of intent that proposes $35 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to advance tidal and river current energy systems. The largest investment in tidal and river current energy technologies in the United States to date, this funding opportunity is expected to be released in early 2023 and aims to develop a tidal or river current research, development, and demonstration site and support in-water demonstration of at least one tidal energy system. More information can be found on EERE Exchange.

Applications Open for Next Round of TEAMER Technical Support: The TEAMER program is accepting applications through Jan. 13, 2023, for its next RFTS. The access period for teams to utilize facilities for RFTS 8 is May 2023–February 2024. Sponsored by WPTO and directed by the Pacific Ocean Energy Trust, TEAMER offers marine energy stakeholders and developers access to the nation’s best facilities and expertise to support technology development and testing. Apply for the next round today, and learn about the latest technical support recipients.

$10 Million DOE investment in ‘Energyshed’ Tools Will Support Community-Driven Energy Solutions: DOE announced three projects funded under the ‘Energyshed’ funding program, funded in part by WPTO, that will help empower communities by identifying the potential impacts and benefits of locally-based energy generation, including new clean energy projects. Project teams will develop and test tools in urban and rural areas in Alaska, Georgia, and Vermont that help communities understand their energy needs and prioritize diversity, equity, and inclusion in energy planning.

EERE Releases Water Power SBIR/STTR Topics: EERE released water power topic selections for SBIR/STTR programs. These programs offer competitively-awarded grants to small businesses to support scientific excellence and technological innovation.

DOE Internship Program Shows Students Careers in Energy: The Science Undergraduate Laboratory Internships program encourages undergraduate students and recent graduates to pursue science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) careers by providing research experiences at one of 17 DOE laboratories. Applications are due Jan. 10, 2023.

Products & Publications 

WPTO Celebrates National STEM Day: To celebrate National STEM Day on Nov. 8, 2022, WPTO shared resources, tools, and opportunities that can help people of all ages interested in pursuing a clean energy career in water power.

A buoy in the ocean with land behind.

WPTO Unveils New Image Gallery: Want to see the water power devices being funded by WPTO? WPTO released a public image gallery depicting research and development from its national lab partners. Complete with over 300 photos, the image gallery shows a wide variety of innovative water power technologies.


New Report Highlights Hydropower Industry’s Demand for New, Diverse Talent: The U.S. hydropower industry faces an oncoming wave of retirements, and a new, diverse workforce is critical to the industry’s ability to sustain current operations and grow. A new WPTO article dives into a 2022 National Renewable Energy Laboratory report, U.S. Hydropower Workforce: Challenges and Opportunities, providing an analysis of the current hydropower workforce trends and needs.

Study Shows Hydropower Provides Reliable Electricity Even During Historic Droughts: To better understand the impacts of drought on the U.S. electric grid, the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, with funding from WPTO, conducted a study of droughts’ impact on 21st century hydropower generation in the western United States. The analysis reveals that, though drought does raise concerns for hydroelectric generation, the overall hydropower fleet sustained 80% of its average generation for the years 2001–2021. 

Ripple Effect: The People Behind the Technology: WPTO’s Ripple Effect series highlights people working across the water power industry and provides insights into their unique backgrounds and expertise. Read the first three profiles, featuring the 2022 participants in the Marine Energy Graduate Student Research Program, now:

Upcoming Events

WPTO SBIR/STTR Topics Webinar

Dec. 1, 2022, 12 p.m. ET, Online

Join WPTO to learn more about the water-power-focused topics/subtopics in the Nov. 7, 2022, SBIR/STTR programs Phase I Release 2 for Fiscal Year 2023. Questions may be submitted prior to the webinar to Water.SBIR@ee.doe.gov.

AGU Fall Meeting

Dec. 12–16, 2022, Chicago, Illinois

Every year, the American Geophysical Union (AGU) Fall Meeting unites the Earth and space science community to share findings, connect like-minded scientists from around the world, and advance the profession and attendees’ shared passion for the impact of science. More than 25,000 attendees from more than 100 countries will convene to explore how science leads the future. WPTO will exhibit at the AGU Fall Meeting in Chicago. Stop by booth 1751 to learn about the latest research and development efforts, news, and funding opportunities from WPTO.

In Case You Missed It

DOE's New Grid Deployment Office to Lead Hydroelectric Incentives Program: As a result of DOE structural changes since the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, WPTO has transferred management of the Hydroelectric Incentives Program to DOE’s new Grid Deployment Office. This new office is focused on improving and expanding transmission and distribution systems and maintaining and investing in critical generation facilities, such as hydropower, to ensure all communities across the nation have access to reliable, affordable electricity. 

An infographic about the number of Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship fellows hosts.

DOE Announces Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship Selections: DOE announced 19 institutions that will host fellows as part of the new Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship program. The program, which is funded by several DOE offices, including WPTO, matches recent graduates and energy professionals with public utility commissions, municipal and rural cooperative utilities, and grid operators, with whom they will spend 1–2 years advancing innovative clean energy solutions. The $6 million program seeks to increase access to clean energy career opportunities and accelerate the national transition to a resilient and affordable clean energy economy.

WPTO Announces Winners of Second Phase of Hydropower Prize: WPTO announced six winners of the second phase of the Hydropower Operations Optimization Prize, which challenged teams to develop solutions to improve hydropower operations and grid resiliency. Team HydroFlex, led by Alex Farley at the University of Utah, was awarded the $7,500 first prize for Phase Two, and five additional teams were awarded $1,500 each for their innovative ideas to expand hydropower’s role in the clean energy transition. 

With Marine Power, It's Not the Size of Your Turbine, It's the Motion of the Ocean: WPTO Director Jennifer Garson and Marine Energy Program Manager Tim Ramsey chatted with Esquire magazine about marine energy. They discussed how WPTO is helping the industry address challenges in areas such as permitting, testing, and research and development. They also covered the potential of marine energy to not only help power a clean energy grid but also assist in other ways, such as disaster relief.

Social Spotlight

WPTO on Twitter — Nov. 10, 2022 

Time to explore 🧭! Check out an interactive map of water power projects across the country and see the impact of water power on creating a clean energy future: https://www.energy.gov/eere/water/water-power-technologies-office-projects-map.


Follow EERE on Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn for daily EERE news, announcements, and general clean energy content.

WPTO/DOE in the News