Announcement: Funding Opportunity Announcement: DE-FOA-0001455 - HydroNEXT: Innovative Technologies to Advance Non-Powered Dam and Pumped- Storage Hydropower Development

Issue Date: 7/26/2016

Total Award Money: $9,800,000

FOA Objective: Further the development of NPD and PSH resources by reducing capital costs and deployment timelines.

Description: This FOA supports the Water Power Program's HydroNEXT initiative to lower costs, improve performance, and promote environmental stewardship across two resource classes: existing non-powered dams and closed-loop pumped-storage hydropower. Only 3% of nation's dams currently generate electricity. The non-powered dam technology projects will help tap this resource by supporting the development of low-head, modular designs that can reduce infrastructure and construction costs and operate flexibly over a range of flow conditions at existing dams. The pumped-storage projects will study the feasibility of innovative concepts for closed-loop pumped-storage hydropower systems.

Specific areas of interest include:

  • Efficient Low‐Head Hydropower Turbine/Generator Technologies with Capability to Reduce Civil Works
  • Concept Feasibility of Innovative Technologies for Closed‐Loop Pumped Storage Hydropower Systems

EERE Selections: Energy Department Awards up to $9.8 Million for Next-Generation Hydropower Technologies

Funding Awardee: 

Innovative Technologies that Reduce Pumped Storage Hydropower Capital Costs and Deployment Timelines:

  • Shell Energy North America of Houston, Texas
  • National Renewable Energy Laboratory of Golden, Colorado
  • Obermeyer Hydro Accessories Inc. of Wellington, Colorado

Innovative Technologies to Add Power to Non Powered Dams:

  • Natel Energy, Inc. of Alameda, California
  • Canyon Hydro of Deming, Washington
  • Rickly Hydrological Company of Columbus, Ohio


Awardee CID


DOE Award

Cost Share

Project Profile





Efficient, Modular Low-Head Linear Pelton Turbine with Simple, Low-Cost Civil Works

Natel Energy is designing and engineering of a small- and intermediate-scale Linear Pelton (LP) hydroEngine machine, the first-ever implementation of a linear-free jet, single-stage impulse turbine that  works without cavitation and without need for submergence, enabling powerhouses to be built almost entirely above the water.





Hydro Battery Systems Catalog Development

Shell Energy North America (SENA) is developing a standard design catalogue for fast-deploying, small, modular pumped storage hydropower (PSH) configurations featuring floating membrane technology options that would serve as a storage reservoir for closed-loop configurations.





Cost-Effective, Small-Scale Pumped-Storage Configuration

Obermeyer Hydro, Inc. is designing a cost-effective, small-scale, adjustable speed PSH by installing reversible pump turbines with submersible permanent magnet motor generators, optimized for the energy storage requirements in the United States.