To reveal the current landscape and prospective role and influence of hydropower operations on the nation's electric grid, the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) commissioned the Hydropower Value Study (HVS): Current Status and Future Opportunities. HVS explores current hydropower operations and resulting value in examples across the country. HVS shows that hydropower operations are changing in some regions, but hydropower continues to be a strong contributor to grid reliability and resilience.

Hydropower also varies significantly across the country in terms of its technical capabilities and the purposes and roles it must fulfill. And while declining energy prices may challenge traditional value propositions for hydropower, new compensation mechanisms are emerging that better account for flexibility and other values hydropower provides.

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