The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) today published a notice of intent to issue a $4 million funding opportunity to reduce the environmental impacts of hydropower with research to advance innovative fish passage and protection technologies. WPTO expects to release this funding opportunity in September.

Fish passage technologies help fish move safely through hydropower facilities, which reduces environmental impacts, supports infrastructure sustainability, and helps to restore fish population levels. Hydropower accounts for 31.5% of U.S. renewable electricity generation and about 6.3% of U.S. electricity generation. Mitigating this resource’s environmental impact is crucial for it to contribute to the Biden administration’s goals of a carbon-free electricity sector by 2035 and net-zero-emissions economy by 2050 while protecting ecosystems and supporting biodiversity.

The proposed funding opportunity will support manufacturers, equipment vendors, and research organizations in gathering relevant information and data to verify effects on fish and the performance of innovative fish passage technologies. Projects should focus on advancing technologies using evidence-based testing that can lead to market adoption and enhancing existing technologies that reduce negative impacts to fish, improve technology performance, and have the potential to reduce costs and/or for unique applications such as use in different environmental conditions.

The full notice of intent is available on EERE Exchange.

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