Office: Water Power Technologies Office
FOA number: DE-FOA-0002800
Link to apply: Apply on EERE Exchange
FOA Amount: Approximately $4 million

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) issued an approximately $4 million funding opportunity to support the efforts of diverse hydropower stakeholders to discuss and find paths forward on topics that include U.S. hydropower fleet modernization, hydropower system sustainability, and hydropower facilities’ environmental impact. This effort aims to maximize the benefits of the clean energy transition as the nation works to curb the climate crisis, empower workers, and advance environmental justice.

The U.S. hydropower fleet has a generating capacity of approximately 80 gigawatts, accounting for 31.5% of U.S. renewable electricity generation and about 6.3% of U.S. electricity generation. While some hydropower plants will reach the end of their useful or economic lives and be retired in coming decades, many others can continue to be valuable energy assets for decades to come. To avoid accelerated or unnecessary losses of U.S. hydropower, the existing fleet must be modernized to continue providing clean, flexible power and help ensure a 100% clean energy future for the United States.

Representatives from across all sectors of the hydropower community must be engaged to better understand the many complex and diverse issues affecting hydropower technologies and operational improvements. Stakeholders may include but are not limited to representatives from tribal nations, hydropower developers, owners/operators of hydropower facilities, research institutions, hydropower industry representatives, nongovernmental organizations, nonprofit organizations, and resource agencies.

Many of the issues intended to be addressed through this funding opportunity are “hot-button” issues from which stakeholders often back away. This opportunity intends to help engage stakeholders, using the services of a trained facilitator, and bring these complex conversations to the forefront to drive real action. These efforts will enhance and inform the current and future needs of R&D for hydropower technologies and environmental mitigation efforts at DOE and in industry.

In line with DOE’s Justice40 Initiative, WPTO encourages applications from organizations and institutions that are located in and/or serve disadvantaged communities or have a history of training and mentoring students from populations that are underrepresented in water power technologies, such as those served by historically Black colleges and universities and minority-serving institutions. This funding opportunity and any related activities will seek to encourage meaningful engagement and participation of workforce organizations, including labor unions, as well as underserved communities and underrepresented groups, including consultation with tribal nations. This FOA is also designed to help meet the goal that 40% of the benefits of the administration’s investments in clean energy and climate solutions be delivered to disadvantaged communities.

DOE anticipates making one award under this funding opportunity.

WPTO will host an informational webinar at 1 p.m. ET on Oct. 27, 2022, to discuss the funding opportunity and areas of focus. Register for the webinar.

Topic Area: Stakeholder Insights Into Hydropower R&D Issues

This topic area seeks to support the efforts of a diverse group of hydropower stakeholders to work together to discuss and address issues regarding U.S. hydropower fleet modernization, hydropower system sustainability, and hydropower facilities’ environmental impact. These efforts will enhance and inform the current and future needs of R&D for hydropower technologies and environmental mitigation efforts at DOE and in industry.

Key Dates

FOA Issue Date: 

Oct. 19, 2022

Informational Webinar:  

Oct. 27, 2022

Submission Deadline for Full Applications: 

Nov. 18, 2022, 5 p.m. ET

Expected Submission Deadline for Replies to Reviewer Comments:

Dec. 22, 2022, 5 p.m. ET

Expected Date for DOE Selection Notifications: 

February 2023

Expected Timeframe for Award Negotiations: 

April 2023

Additional Information