The Water Power Technologies Office is now accepting applications for $7 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 (kWh) generated in calendar year 2019 (CY19).
Hydropower has remained an important renewable energy resource in the United States for over a century, yet tens of thousands of dams across the country don’t produce power. Adding generation equipment to these sites could add up to 12 gigawatts of new hydropower capacity to the U.S. electric system. Using existing dam infrastructure can also lower construction costs and reduce permitting time—meaning hydropower is added to the grid at faster rates.
Applicants may receive up to 2.3 cents per kWh for hydropower generated during the CY19 incentive period, with a limit of $750,000 or less depending on the total kWh of eligible power generation. Applicants that received incentive payments for prior calendar years must submit a full application addressing all eligibility requirements for hydroelectricity generated and sold in CY19. In the previous round for CY18, WPTO awarded a total of $6.6 million to 48 recipients who had developed new projects on existing water infrastructure or upgraded and increased the efficiency of existing hydropower projects.
The electric system is changing rapidly, and hydropower is well positioned to provide a key source of reliability and resiliency to the grid as more variable renewable resources come online. By making use of existing structures, hydropower owners and 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 July 13, 2020.
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.