Meet staff and experts from the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) and several national laboratories at Clean Currents in Cincinnati, Ohio, from October 10–13, 2023. Hosted by the National Hydropower Association, this annual conference for the water power sector features research and brings together professionals focused on conventional, pumped storage, and small hydropower, as well as marine energy. 

DOE Booth 

WPTO, DOE’s Grid Deployment Office (GDO), and national laboratory representatives will be at booth 611 throughout the conference. Researchers from Argonne National Laboratory (Argonne), Idaho National Laboratory (INL), National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL), and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) will also present a series of “flash talks” over two days (Flash talk times are also available in the Clean Currents 2023 mobile app). These short presentations cover timely water power topics and feature demonstrations. 

Wednesday, October 11 

Presentation 

Presenter 

Lab 

11–11:20 a.m. 

Hydropower Vision 

Alison Colotelo 

PNNL 

11:20–11:40 a.m. 

RAPID Toolkit 

Aaron Levine 

NREL 

11:40 a.m.–12 p.m. 

Hydropower eLibrary 

James Bradford 

PNNL 

1:15–1:35 p.m. 

Small Hydro Interconnection 

Hope Corsair 

ORNL 

1:35–1:55 p.m. 

Developing a Non-Powered Dam Retrofit Financial Gaps- Analysis Tool: Assessing Actions to Increase Financial Viability of Projects 

Mucun Sun 

INL 

1:55–2:15 p.m. 

Pumped Storage Hydropower Resource Assessment and Supply Curves Tool 

Stuart Cohen 

NREL 

3–3:20 p.m. 

The Prospects for Pumped Storage Hydropower in Alaska 

Vladimir Koritarov 

Argonne 

3:20–3:40 p.m. 

Hydropower Cybersecurity Value-at-Risk Framework 

Anuj Sanghvi 

NREL 

3:40–4 p.m. 

Hydropower Fleet Intelligence 

Pradeep Ramuhalli 

ORNL 

4–4:20 p.m. 

Cold Spray for In-Situ Repair of Cavitation Damaged Hydropower Hardware 

Christopher Smith 

PNNL 

 

Thursday, October 12 

Presentation 

Presenter 

Lab 

11–11:20 a.m. 

Modeling Marine Energy Systems with the System Advisor Model  

Elena Baca 

NREL 

11:20–11:40 a.m. 

Hydropower Technology Catalog 

Trevor Atkinson 

INL 

11:40 a.m.–12 p.m. 

Hydropower STEM to Workforce 

Jennifer Daw and STEM Team 

NREL 

1:30–1:50 p.m. 

Floating Solar 

Juan Gallego-Calderon 

INL 

1:50–2:10 p.m. 

Energy Flexibility-Environment Trade-Off Tool 

Mucun Sun 

INL 

2:10–2:30 p.m. 

Building a National-Scale Dataset of Fish Passage Facilities at Hydropower Developments in the United States 

Paul Matson 

ORNL 

3–3:20 p.m. 

Hydropower eLibrary 

James Bradford 

PNNL 

3:20–3:40 p.m. 

Climate and Water Risk to the Bulk Power System 

Stuart Cohen 

NREL 

WPTO-Hosted Side Events 

Catch WPTO, prize competition teams, and national laboratory staff as they work with the students and innovators attending Clean Currents on their ideas for the future of hydropower and clean energy. 

WPTO and PNNL are providing training that will equip hydropower professionals with cybersecurity best practices to protect hydropower facilities. Participants will gain an understanding of the importance of cybersecurity in ensuring a safe and reliable hydropower system, contributing to a more informed and diverse hydropower cybersecurity community, and supporting the transition to a clean energy future. The event will occur on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 1–5 p.m

WPTO and NREL will gather students and faculty advisors for the kick-off of the 2024 HCC. Clean Currents attendees are welcome to stop by to meet the students and faculty as the teams prepare to compete in the second annual HCC. This event will occur on Tuesday, Oct. 10 from 1–5:30 p.m. 

WPTO and NREL will bring together industry professionals with university students. In a guided networking exercise, students and industry professionals will collaborate to discuss pathways to water power jobs and discover new career opportunities. Those planning to attend should reach out to Betsy.Stratton@nrel.gov to confirm their attendance. The event will occur during lunch on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 12–1 p.m

The purpose of this session is to provide an opportunity for conference attendees to meet with competitors from the Hydropower Operations Optimization (H2Os) Prize and hear about their innovative technology solutions to improve hydropower system operations. The event will occur on Wednesday, Oct. 11 from 3 to 4 p.m. 

During this event, WPTO Director Jennifer Garson will celebrate the winners of the H2Os Prize and award cash prizes to the winning teams. Teams are competing in person during the conference. Throughout the prize, teams have been working toward the goal of developing new solutions to advance hydropower’s contributions to the grid. The event will occur on Thursday, Oct. 12 from 12–1 p.m

DOE and National Laboratory Speaking Engagements 

Don’t miss hearing from DOE and national laboratory staff throughout the conference as they discuss everything from the importance of cybersecurity in hydropower to the future of the sector and how flexibility will play a key role in integrating renewables into the electric grid.  

Tuesday, October 10 Session Speaker Affiliation  
1–3 p.m. Focus on Hydropower Flexibility: Balancing Grid Demands, Operational Realities, and Regulatory Requirements Sam Bockenhauer WPTO 
3:30–5:30 p.m. The Art of Public Speaking and Facilitation Jennifer Daw NREL 

 

Wednesday, October 11 Session Speaker Affiliation 
9–10:15 a.m. Plenary Sessions (Unveiling of the Hydropower Vision Roadmap) Jennifer Garson WPTO and GDO 
11–11:30 a.m. New Website for Easily Accessing Needed Licensing Information from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission James Bradford PNNL 
11-11:30 a.m.  A Roadmap to Intelligent Watersheds: Evaluating Knowledge Gaps and Feasibility Vincent Tidwell PNNL 
11 a.m.–12 p.m. Domestic Manufacturing and Supply Chain Kyle DeSomber WPTO 
11 a.m. -12 p.m. Reservoir Emissions: Demystifying the Discussion Carly Hansen ORNL 
11:30 a.m.-12 p.m. New Tool for Assessing the Profitability of Adding an Optimally Sized Battery to a Hydro Plant Tyler Phillips INL 
1:15-1:45 p.m. New Tool for Simulating Downstream Flows to Assess Energy Flexibility-Environment Tradeoffs Hongfei Hou PNNL 
1:45-2:15 p.m. Demonstrating Small Hydro’s Black Start and Grid Islanding Capability with Energy Storage Support Yemi Ojo INL 
3-3:30 p.m. Analyzing Opportunities for Powering America’s Non-Powered Dams Scott DeNeale ORNL 
3–4 p.m. Changing the Conversation: Flexibility is the New Generation Dana McCoskey WPTO 
3-4:15 p.m. Next Generation Workforce: Roundtable Discussion with University Students, Professors, and Industry Elise DeGeorge and Jennifer Daw NREL 
3:30-4 p.m. Leveraging Non-Powered Dams for Hydropower Generation: A Multi-Criteria Decision Framework for Site-Level Analysis Kazi Tamaddun PNNL 
4:15-4:45 p.m. Cataloguing and Quantifying Additional Value Streams from Non-Powered Dam Conversion Mark Weimar PNNL 
4:15–5:15 p.m. Conversation on Water Management Nathalie Voisin and Daniel Broman PNNL 
4:15–5:15 p.m. Just Add Water: Hydropower’s Role in a Decarbonized Grid Tim Welch and Greg Stark GDO and NREL 
4:15-5:15 p.m. Workforce Management and Succession Planning – Properly Training New Hydro Generation Employees for Both Large and Small Organizations Jennifer Daw NREL 
4:45-5:15 p.m. Lessons Learned and Emerging Tools to Support Development at Existing Infrastructure Mirko Musa ORNL 

 

Thursday, October 12 Session Speaker  Affiliation 
9–10 a.m. Plenary Session (H2Os Winners Preview) Jennifer Garson WPTO 
11-11:30 a.m. A Tool for Addressing Hydro Generation Modeling Gaps in Transmission System Operation and Planning Slaven Kincic PNNL 
11 a.m.–12 p.m. Tipping the Economic Scale Toward Small Hydropower Scott DeNeale ORNL 
11 a.m.–12 p.m. Roadmap to 2050: The Hydropower Vision Alison Colotelo PNNL 
11:30-12 p.m. Integration of a Wind Farm in a Hydro-Dominated Power System: Challenges and Solutions Soumyadeep Nag INL 
1:30-2 p.m. Inexpensive Non-Toxic Coating to Prevent Biofouling Curtis Larimer and Joseph Daddona PNNL 
1:30–2:30 p.m. Hydropower Asset Management Pradeep Ramuhalli ORNL 
3-3:30 p.m. An Open-Source Python Tool for Hydropower Potential Assessment and Prefeasibility Studies Camilo Jose Bastidas Pacheco INL 
3–4 p.m.  Pumped Storage – Contributions to the Energy Transition Bo Saulsbury PNNL 
3:30-4 p.m. Building a National-Scale Dataset of Fish Passage Facilities at Hydropower Developments in the United States Paul Matson ORNL 

 

Friday, October 13 Session Speaker Affiliation 
10 a.m.–12 p.m. Planning for Change: Where to Get Hydro-Climate Projection Datasets and How to Use Them Charles Scaife, Shih-Chieh Kao, and Nathalie Voisin WPTO, ORNL, PNNL 

 

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