UPDATE – U.S. expands offer to support advanced waterpower technologies

WASHINGTON (PennWell) — The Department of Energy announced May 18 it will add $4 million, and three new topic areas, to the original $12 million it is offering to support research and development of advanced waterpower technologies.

The due date for proposals in the three new topic areas is June 18; the due date for proposals in three original topic areas remains June 4.

In the original solicitation, announced April 8, DOE said mandatory letters of intent would be due May 6, with completed applications for funds due June 4. (HydroWorld 4/9/09)

Letters of intent are not required for the new topic areas, which would add a total of $4 million to the amount of funds offered for the government’s current fiscal year:

o Topic Area 4: hydropower grid services;
o Topic Area 5: environmental mitigation effectiveness; and
o Topic Area 6: university hydropower research program.

For Topic Area 4, DOE seeks applications from industry-led partnerships proposing to develop new methods to quantify and maximize benefits that conventional and pumped-storage hydropower provide to transmission grids. For Topic Area 5, DOE solicits industry-led projects to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of novel approaches to environmental impact mitigation at hydro facilities. For Topic Area 6, DOE said it wants proposals to establish and manage a competitive fellowship program to support graduate students undertaking a dissertation on topics connected with conventional or pumped-storage hydropower.

The original funding announcement provides industry members and industry-led partnerships the opportunity to conduct research in three topic areas:

o Topic Area 1: marine and hydrokinetic energy conversion devices or component design and development;
o Topic Area 2: marine and hydrokinetic site-specific environmental studies/information; and
o Topic Area 3: advanced waterpower market acceleration projects/analysis and assessments of offshore, in-stream, ocean thermal, and advanced hydropower resources.

The funding opportunity announcement seeks to enhance the viability and cost-competitiveness of advanced waterpower systems through public-private partnerships. DOE said it also intends to strengthen scientific discovery, promote clean and secure energy, increase economic prosperity, and demonstrate U.S. leadership in addressing climate change.

The $12 million in the original funding opportunity announcement, subject to annual appropriations, adds to the $7.3 million DOE committed in 2008 to research, development, demonstration, and deployment of advanced waterpower technologies. (HydroWorld 4/21/08) DOE named 14 research projects to share in the $7.3 million as partners with DOE in testing, demonstrating, validating, and developing advanced waterpower technologies. (HydroWorld 9/18/08)

President Obama’s proposed spending plan for the new 2010 fiscal year that begins Oct. 1 includes $30 million for DOE’s hydropower R&D program. (HydroWorld 5/11/09)

The complete announcement for new funding, and the amendment, can be viewed on the FedConnect Internet site, www.fedconnect.net, under “Search Public Opportunities and Awards.” Under “Search Criteria,” select “Reference Number” and enter funding opportunity No. DE-FOA-0000069. Click on “Search,” and select the opportunity.

Completed applications for funds in topic areas 1, 2, and 3 are due June 4, and completed applications for funds in topic areas 4, 5, and 6 are June 18. DOE’s field office in Golden, Colo., issued the announcement. Questions regarding content must be submitted through FedConnect, DOE said.

DOE offers waterpower funding to national labs

DOE issued a separate opportunity announcement April 8 to DOE national laboratories for research and development on waterpower technologies.(HydroWorld 4/9/09) That announcement carries the same May 6 deadline for letters of intent and the June 4 deadline for applications.

The opportunity, called a program announcement, offers a total of $15 million to DOE national laboratories to address technical challenges in waterpower development, as well as barriers to market acceptance.

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