Hydropower Improvement Initiative aims at non-power dams, existing plants

Oak Ridge National Laboratory requests information from industry and other parties on implementation of the Hydropower Improvement Initiative (HI2), a proposed assessment, design, and demonstration process to increase hydro capacity at existing hydro plants and non-powered dams. Responses are due July 22.

In support of the Department of Energy, ORNL seeks information with plans to issue a request for proposals to assemble assessment teams of hydropower professionals to apply an HI2 assessment protocol to hydro projects. A recent study by Navigant Consulting Inc. shows significant growth opportunity for U.S. hydropower, including additions of hydro at existing infrastructure. (HydroWorld 6/18/10)

“Although hydropower is already providing substantial renewable energy to the U.S., substantial undeveloped hydropower resources exist that are not being pursued because of regulatory, cost, environmental, and technological uncertainties,” ORNL said. “DOE is working to reduce the barriers associated with these uncertainties through applied research, development, deployment, and demonstration projects.”

ORNL seeks comment from hydropower stakeholders on:
o dissemination of HI2 best practices specifications and assessment protocols to hydropower stakeholders;
o needs and opportunities for the private sector to demonstrate the application of HI2 assessment protocols at specific hydropower projects or systems of projects;
o prioritization of and engineering design for improvement opportunities identified by the site-specific application of HI2 assessment protocols; and
o incentives for demonstrating procedural and capital improvement opportunities at specific hydropower projects and systems of projects identified through the application of HI2 assessment protocols.

The HI2 project includes two phases. Phase 1 is development of best practices specifications and assessment protocols. Information is to be drafted and reviewed by a team of hydropower professionals with experience in project design, operations, and licensing. The draft assessment protocols are to be applied to a limited number of test sites, with the resulting case studies and lessons learned to be included in final versions of the best practices specifications and assessment protocols.

Phase 2 is deployment of HI2 assessment protocols. ORNL-funded assessment teams are to deploy to interested hydropower projects, where they would apply the HI2 assessment protocols to identify opportunities to increase net energy generation. Results would be reported back to project owners in the form of feasibility of options and screening-level benefit-cost propositions.

Contingent on available funding, ORNL expects to issue a request for proposals to assemble and train assessment teams of hydropower professionals to apply an HI2 assessment protocol to a collection of hydropower projects. The national laboratory expects to make multiple contract awards for teams to assess single or multiple hydro projects. Engineering design studies for high-value opportunities and construction upgrades will be addressed within the potential request for proposals.

ORNL now requests information from parties including developers, investors, industry, Indian tribes, renewable energy equipment suppliers, utilities, independent system operators, regional transmission organizations, independent power producers, instrument manufacturers, environmentalists, academics, and other entities.

A pre-solicitation notice may be obtained from the Federal Business Opportunities Internet site, www.fbo.gov, by entering solicitation No. RFIHI2 in the “Keyword/Solicitation #” box.

Responses should include a cover page, one-page executive summary, and up to four pages specifically addressing the bulleted items above. ORNL encourages additional relevant comments on issues not specifically mentioned above.

Responses are due by 11:59 p.m. Eastern time July 22 by attachment (in MicroSoft Word format) to an e-mail to Linda Stinnett, Subcontract Administrator at stinnettlw@ornl.gov. The subject line should read “(Respondent name) RFI HI2 Response.”

For information, contact Linda Stinnett, Subcontract Administrator, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Bethel Valley Road, P.O. Box 2008, Oak Ridge, TN 37831-6192; (1) 865-576-4472; Fax: (1) 865-241-1034; E-mail: stinnettlw@ornl.gov.

For more hydropower tenders, click here.

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