Funding for water power projects may be available through other offices in the U.S. Department of Energy or other federal agencies. Financial opportunities not related to the Water Power Program are listed below.
Grants and Tax Incentives
The federal government currently offers two primary tax incentives for qualified water power facilities: marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) power installations, hydroelectric power installations, and hydropower efficiency improvements.
Businesses that begin construction on hydroelectric or MHK facilities or hydropower efficiency improvements before December 31, 2013, are eligible for either the federal Business Energy Investment Tax Credit (ITC) or the federal Renewable Electricity Production Tax Credit (PTC). Project owners must choose between the one-time ITC, which is tied to the total value of the facility, and the PTC, which is tied to the energy produced over a ten-year period. To qualify for either the PTC or the ITC, these projects must begin construction by December 31, 2013, which is defined as starting physical work of a significant nature or incurring 5% of the total project cost.
The Production Tax Credit allows owners of qualified renewable energy facilities to receive tax credits for each kilowatt-hour (kWh) of electricity generated by the facility and sold to an unrelated person over a ten-year period. Qualified hydroelectric or MHK facilities or hydropower efficiency improvements are eligible to receive 1.1 cents per kWh of electricity generated and sold (indexed for inflation). To qualify for the PTC, hydroelectric or MHK facilities or hydropower efficiency improvements must begin construction by December 31, 2013.
The Investment Tax Credit is a corporate tax incentive that allows owners of qualified new ocean energy or hydroelectric generation systems to receive tax credits worth up to 30% of the costs. As with the PTC, hydroelectric or marine hydrokinetic energy facilities must begin construction by December 31, 2013, to qualify for the ITC.
For information on these and other incentives administered by the Internal Revenue Service, see the Water Power Program's fact sheet providing an overview of related incentives and funding opportunities.
Additional incentives may be available at the state level; visit the DSIRE database for more information.
Other Financial Opportunities from DOE
The EERE Financial Opportunities Web page provides links to useful resources about financing and incentives for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects for the home, business, industry, utilities, and government.
DOE awards funding to small businesses for renewable energy research and development (R&D) projects through its Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) and Small Business Technology Transfer (STTR) programs. Visit DOE's Small Business Innovation Research and Small Business Technology Transfer website to apply for grants.
DOE's Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) sponsors R&D grants for earlier-stage, high-potential, high-impact energy technologies. Visit ARPA-E's website for more information on grant opportunities or to apply.
DOE offers loan guarantees for eligible projects, including renewable energy projects, that "avoid, reduce, or sequester air pollutants or anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases" and "employ new or significantly improved technologies." For more information, visit the Loan Programs Office website.
In addition, DOE's Tribal Energy Program provides financial and technical assistance, education, and training to tribes for the evaluation and development of renewable energy resources on tribal lands.
If you are interested in applying for funding, but your project does not fit within the scope of the posted solicitations, please submit your proposal to DOE's Unsolicited Proposal Office.