New Round of Hydroelectric Incentive Funding Now Available

May 21, 2019

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The Water Power Technologies Office is now accepting applications for $6.6 million in the latest round of funding under section 242 of Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPACT). In an effort to meet America’s growing need for electricity, the EPACT framework supports development of renewable energy systems and advancements in energy conservation and energy-efficient technologies. Qualified facilities under the new round of funding will be selected based on the number of kilowatt hours generated in calendar year 2018.

Hydropower is an important renewable energy resource in the United States, yet tens of thousands of dams across the country don’t produce power. Adding generation equipment to these sites could add up to 12 GW of new hydropower capacity to the grid, and using existing dam infrastructure can lower construction costs and reduce permitting time—meaning hydropower is added to the grid faster.

In the previous round for calendar year 2017, the Energy Department awarded $6.6. million in available funding to 37 eligible applicants from 15 different states. Recipients had developed new projects on existing water infrastructure or upgraded and increased the efficiency of existing hydropower projects. All resulted in the generation of additional low-cost energy from hydropower.

The electric system is changing rapidly, and hydropower is well positioned to provide critical grid services as more variable renewables like wind and solar come online. By making use of existing structures, hydropower owner/operators can introduce new electricity onto the grid with minimal impact to the surrounding environment.

For more information and guidance on the newest round of funding for FY2019, click here. Applications are due June 20, 2019.

DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) supports early-stage research and development of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies that make energy more affordable and strengthen the reliability, resilience, and security of the U.S. electric grid. For more information on water power research, development, and testing see the EERE Water Power Technology Office's website.