Selection Date

  • 12/18/2020

Prize Objective

The Innovations in Advanced Manufacturing for Hydropower (I AM Hydro Prize) was designed to:

  • Catalyze the use of advanced manufacturing to drive down levelized costs of hydropower by seeking solutions that can dramatically lower initial capital costs and/or increase annual energy production
  • Inform the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) future investments by identifying targeted, high-impact opportunities to apply advances in manufacturing to address hydropower’s critical challenges, which may be used to inform future funding opportunities
  • Bring new innovators into the hydropower sector and help form partnerships and collaborations between industry, academia, and government to accelerate innovative advanced manufacturing technologies for hydropower.


WPTO launched the I AM Hydro Prize to lower the costs of hydropower components and systems designs by leveraging advancements in manufacturing and material. I AM Hydro innovators competed for up to $175,000 in cash prizes and helped support the hydropower industry using the ingenuity of advanced manufacturing.

The prize was designed to spur innovation by engaging a national community of visionaries who are not typically associated with the hydropower industry and target levelized cost of energy reductions in hydropower design, manufacturing, and operation and maintenance.

EERE Selections

Funding Awardees

  • Grand prize: 
    • Cadens, LLC, Utility of Large Area AM for Small Hydro.
  • Innovator prizes: 
    • Skuld LLC, Additive Manufacturing Evaporative Casing 
    • AI-Driven Design Optimization of Turbines
    • Interphase Materials, Anti-Fouling Coating for Hydropower Cost Reduction
    • Fusion-Free Fabrication, Augmented Repair via Additive Manufacturing
    • Composite Magnet for Hydropower Generators 
    • Ceramic Rust Universal Sealant Technology
    • Multiscale Systems, Lowering Costs with Mechanical Metamaterials 
    • RCAM Technologies, Retrofitting of Non-Powered Dams Using 3-D Concrete Printing 
    • Mazdak International Inc, Semi-Solid Casting for Hydro-Turbines 
    • Super-frictionless Surfaces Quasi-R.