Statements of Interest for Hydropower Technical Assistance Opportunity

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Water Power Technologies Office


Dec. 14 2022

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 with any inquiries or suggestions.

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Did You Know?

Climate change creates contrasting conditions, such as increasing temperatures and intensifying rainfall and drought, which affect hydropower operations.

Upcoming Deadlines

Announcements & Opportunities

A dam from a birds-eye view.

Statements of Interest for Hydropower Technical Assistance Opportunity Due Soon: The deadline is approaching to submit statements of interest for a hydropower technical assistance opportunity from the Water Power Technologies Office’s (WPTO) HydroWIRES Initiative. This opportunity is intended to provide pumped storage hydropower (PSH) developers and other stakeholders with assistance and expertise from U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) national laboratories to address valuation hurdles in PSH project development and support the broader hydropower community on challenges they face related to the HydroWIRES mission. The deadline to submit statements of interest is Dec. 16, 2022.

Deadlines Approaching for Multiple Hydropower Funding Opportunities: Deadlines are approaching for several hydropower funding opportunities. This includes: 

  • A $10 million funding opportunity to support studies that facilitate the licensing and eventual construction and commissioning of new PSH facilities. Full applications are due tomorrow, Dec. 15, 2022, by 5 p.m. ET.
  • A $14.5 million funding opportunity to further the sustainable development of hydropower and PSH. Full applications are due March 5, 2023, by 5 p.m. ET.
  • A $4 million funding opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of hydropower with research to enhance innovative fish passage and protection technologies. Full applications are due March 27, 2023, by 5 p.m. ET.

Submit Letters of Intent for Small Business Funding Opportunity: DOE released the funding opportunity for Phase I Release 2 of the Fiscal Year 2023 SBIR/STTR programs. This release includes five water power topics. SBIR/STTR offers competitively awarded grants to small businesses to support scientific excellence and technological innovation. The deadline to submit letters of intent is Jan. 3, 2023.

WPTO Announces Selections for New Hydropower Projects at the National Laboratories: WPTO announced nearly $16.1 million in new projects to further hydropower and marine energy research and development. These awards include $5.6 million for hydropower projects across five national laboratories.

DOE Awards Second Round of Funding to Energy Incubators and Accelerators: DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions awarded its second round of funding for the Energy Program for Innovation Clusters Prize. The prize awarded 24 competitors for their high-impact ideas that support energy start-ups and entrepreneurs, including a bonus prize related to water power technologies.

Apply for DOE Clean Energy on Mine Land Technical Assistance: DOE’s Office of Clean Energy Demonstrations is offering technical assistance to inform decision-making on topics related to developing clean energy projects on mine land. Clean Energy on Mine Land Program priorities, including local job creation and economic development, greenhouse gas emission reduction, and the development of lower-cost electricity generation. 

Technology Commercialization Fund Submissions Now Open: WPTO is partnering with the DOE Office of Technology Transitions and eight other DOE program offices for this year’s Technology Commercialization Fund Base Annual Appropriations Laboratory Call. Potential topics for funding include Market Needs Assessment, Curation of IP, Matchmaking, Technology Specific Partnerships, Streamlining Laboratory Processes, and Increasing External Partnerships.

Products & Publications

Prize Winners Continue to Advance Pumped Storage Hydropower: Learn how winners of the Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time Commissioning for PSH Prize are advancing their work to improve PSH development by testing, completing further analysis, and identifying potential sites for their technologies. This 2019 competition challenged participants to reduce time, cost, and risk of commissioning PSH projects. Dive deeper into the three grand prize winners’ innovations, and learn how this prize propelled them into the next stages of their work.

Missed the Semiannual Stakeholder Webinar? Read the Recap Article: WPTO hosted its latest semiannual stakeholder webinar on Nov. 9, 2022, and shared details about the office’s latest funding opportunities, accomplishments, and projects. Speakers focused on a major theme throughout the webinar: the historic amount of funding available for water power projects as a result of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and the Inflation Reduction Act. The WPTO team also spotlighted new studies on hydropower’s potential in the United States, marine energy device deployments, recent prize competitions, and workforce development activities. 

A person in protective attire holds an eel in ice.

Industry Video Showcases 100% Fish Passage through a Hydropower Turbine: Natel Energy, Inc. completed tests that showed 100% safe passage of American eels through the company’s Restoration Hydro Turbine. Findings from this test provides nongovernmental organizations, regulators, and hydropower operators “a first-time solution for reliable fish protection,” says the press release. 

WPTO and National Lab Release Water Power Comic Books: To inspire students across the country to explore renewable energy, WPTO partnered with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to create two water-power-focused comic books. Spark Squad follows middle school students as they learn about water power’s role in clean energy.

Sign Up for the GDO Newsletter: DOE’s new Grid Deployment Office (GDO) works to provide electricity to everyone, everywhere. GDO’s goal is to improve and expand transmission and distribution systems to support grid resilience, expanding renewables, and increasing electrification. Learn more about GDO and its associated opportunities by subscribing to its newsletter.

Upcoming Events

American Geophysical Union 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.

WPTO R&D Deep Dive: Monitoring Water Quality in Real Time

Jan. 24, 2023, 12 p.m. ET, Virtual

Maintaining and improving water quality has been a long standing challenge for many hydropower facilities. As new mitigation technologies are developed, we need to improve monitoring technologies to validate that water quality targets are being met. Join the team from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory tackling that challenge with a real-time, autonomous, modular water quality monitoring system. Learn not just about how they’re enabling improved measurement in challenging locations but about what this means for the future.

In Case You Missed It

Applications Open for Two Funding Opportunities to Energize Tribal Lands: DOE’s Office of Indian Energy announced $35 million in new funding to promote tribal energy and economic development. The two funding opportunities aim to unlock the benefits of clean energy for Native communities.

Social Spotlight

A hydropower plant.

WPTO on Facebook—Nov. 18, 2022 

#DYK that the 43 pumped storage hydropower facilities across the United States make up 93% of all utility-scale energy storage in the nation?

Follow along on the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy's Twitter, Linkedin, and Facebook channels for more #WaterWednesday content each week.

WPTO/DOE in the News

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