The Water Power Technologies Office of the U.S. Department of Energy has announced up to $9 million in funding for standard modular hydropower and pumped storage hydropower.
The first area seeks to stimulate innovative design concepts for small, low-head hydropower plants capable of lowering the capital costs and reducing the environmental impacts of development at new stream-reach, or greenfield, sites.
The second area explores new use cases for pumped storage hydropower, including:
- Innovative technology concepts that address critical barriers such as time to commission or tap new value streams
- Analysis and modeling enhancements that examine how pumped storage can improve electricity system resilience, reliability and affordability
WPTO says “Hydropower and pumped storage are key components to strengthening energy security and the American economy.”
WPTO is working to lower the cost and build time of hydropower and pumped storage systems, further increase their ability to provide essential reliability services and contribute to the resilience of the grid, and continue to reduce their environmental impacts and permitting timelines.
Informational webinars on the funding opportunity and small modular hydropower are being held on Sept. 5 and Sept. 6, respectively.
Hydropower Vision data
The Hydropower Vision report DOE released in 2016 identified 1.7 GW of hydropower potential in undeveloped sites and waterways and an additional 15 GW enabled by the emergence of innovative technologies and designs to reduce costs and meet environmental performance objectives.
In addition, 43 pumped storage plants currently provide more than 95% of utility-scale electricity storage in the U.S.