U.S. DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY DOE Announces $24.9 Million Funding Selections to Advance Hydropower and Water Technologies

  • Nov 01, 2019
  • Electric Energy

Today (10/31), the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced selections for up to $24.9 million in funding to drive innovative, industry-led technology solutions to advance the marine and hydrokinetics industry and increase hydropower's ability to serve as a flexible grid resource. Innovative water power technologies have the potential to increase the affordability of hydropower and marine energy. Selected projects will also strengthen U.S. manufacturing competitiveness and build on department-wide initiatives to improve the capability of technologies to deliver value to the grid.

Projects were selected across four Areas of Interest (AOI) Hydropower Operational Flexibility, Low-Head Hydropower and In-Stream Hydrokinetic Technologies, Advancing Wave Energy Device Design, and Marine Energy Centers Research Infrastructure Upgrades.

"Hydropower is a valuable national resource and these technologies will make it an even more competitive clean energy option to invest in the Blue Economy," said Under Secretary of Energy Mark W. Menezes. "These awards are another example of this Administration reaffirming its commitment to an all-of-the-above' energy policy to the benefit of the entire nation."

Projects awarded under this area of interest will quantify the flexible capabilities of hydropower and advance operational strategies to increase such flexibility to better serve an evolving grid.

AOI 1a, Quantify Hydropower Capabilities for Operational Flexibility

AOI 1b, Operational Strategies for Increasing Hydropower Flexibility

AOI 2: Low-Head Hydropower and In-Stream Hydrokinetic Technologies

Projects awarded under this area will focus on the development of two types of technologies standard modular hydropower (SMH) and current energy converters (CECs). CEC technologies extract kinetic energy from rivers without the need for a dam or diversion, whereas SMH technologies use dams or other structures with turbines to create head differences in water elevation and generate power.

AOI 2a, Modular Technologies for Low-Head Hydropower Applications will focus on the design and production of entirely new standardized, modular technologies for low-head (30 feet or less) hydropower applications that can balance performance, economics, and environmental sustainability.

AOI 2b, Modular Technologies for River Current Energy Converter Applications will focus on developing and testing CEC systems that can be efficiently deployed and retrieved without the need for significant port or on-site infrastructure and specialized vessels.

Projects awarded under this area will drive performance improvements in WEC devices in preparation for open-water testing, where wave energy has the greatest energy capture potential and lowest unit costs.

AOI 4: Marine Energy Centers Research Infrastructure Upgrades Projects awarded under this area will upgrade necessary infrastructure at existing National Marine Renewable Energy Centers (NMRECs) to enable broader industry access and reduce technical barriers to incubating advanced marine and hydrokinetic technologies.

For more information on water power research, development, and testing, please visit WPTO's website.

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