Innovations for Low-Impact Hydropower Growth

Project Name: Groundbreaking Hydro Prize                      

Project Team: Oak Ridge National Laboratory and National Renewable Energy Laboratory

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In April 2021, the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) announced two winners of the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize, which challenged innovators to create new solutions to support hydropower project development by starting at square one—the foundation. The prize, developed by WPTO in collaboration with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Oak Ridge National Laboratory, was open to a multidisciplinary field of applicants, from those in hydropower and dam construction and safety to advanced manufacturing and beyond.

Team GZA (GeoEnvironmental Inc. and Littoral Power Systems) won the Groundbreaking Prize for their Terra-Modulor Project concept to prefabricate a modular hydropower foundation for a wide range of soils and substructures. Team Chemventive won the Innovator Prize for their WaterJet Drill Concept, a deep array of high-tension cables drilled through solid rock, using a water-jet drilling robot, to secure a steel dam in tension.

Innovations for Low-Impact Hydropower Growth Projects