The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) today launched the Make a Splash Contest, a new prize seeking the best photos and videos of water power technologies, research and development activities, and infrastructure, as well as the people and communities contributing to or benefitting from water power. A total prize pool of $31,500 will be distributed over six photography and three video categories.  

hydropower dam
A photo of sunrise at the Bonneville Dam near Portland, Oregon, was the first place winner in the Overall Hydropower category in the Water Power Technologies Office's previous photo contest.
Image from Rafael Kaup

“This contest serves two purposes—to encourage amateur and professional photographers and videographers to take a closer look at all that water power has to offer, and allow us to share their images and videos of real-world technologies and the people behind them with a broad audience,” said Jennifer Garson, WPTO Director. “The contest submissions will be added to an ever-growing library of images and videos that can inspire viewers about the scope and potential of water power.” 

The contest is open now through November 17 to photographers and videographers of all proficiency levels. Contest winners will be awarded up to $2,000 for a photo or video in one of nine categories. Note that submissions showing non-U.S. technologies on or in U.S. land or water are allowed. Non-U.S. technologies on or in non-U.S. land or water are not eligible.

marine energy facility
An image during the installation of a Verdant Power tidal turbine for testing at the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project in the East River in New York, New York, won first place in the Overall Marine Energy category in the previous photo contest.
Image from Verdant Power

Photo Categories 

Entrants may submit up to 20 photos (total) in these categories: 

  • Conventional Hydropower and Pumped Storage 
  • Small, Distributed, or Low-Impact Hydropower 
  • Marine Energy
  • Powering the Blue Economy™
  • Faces of Water Power 
  • Communities Powered by Water 

Video Categories 

Entrants may submit up to six clips or timelapse videos (total) in these categories: 

  • Marine Energy 
  • Hydropower
  • Faces of Water Power 

Contest judges will select three award recipients per category: grand prize, which will receive a $2,000 award; second place, a $1,000 award; and third place, a $500 award. 

Video Url
The Make a Splash Photo & Video Contest encourages you to submit your best photograph or video clip of the people, technologies, and settings that make up water power for a chance to win up to $2,000!
Video by American-Made Challenges

Submitting Photos and Videos

Submit photos and videos and find a full set of rules and instructions for submission on the Make A Splash Photo Contest website. Contact with any questions.   

Photos and videos will be featured on WPTO's website and in outreach efforts such as presentations, newsletters, educational materials, social media, and other engagement opportunities. Please note that photo submissions will be made publicly available and downloadable. 

All submissions are due by 11:59 p.m. MDT on November 17, 2023.  

Submissions will be evaluated by a panel of judges selected by WPTO. Winners are expected to be announced in January 2024. 

This prize is administered by DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory as part of the American-Made program. 

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