The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program was authorized by Congress through Section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The program, led by the U.S Department of Energy (DOE), provides incentive payments to qualified hydroelectric facilities for electricity generated and sold. Though originally authorized in 2005, Congress first directed funding to the program in 2014 and has since directed funding to the program annually through the appropriations process. In November 2021, Congress also directed $125 million for the program through the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law.

To better understand the eligibility requirements for qualified hydroelectric facilities, DOE has issued a guidance document that describes the incentive payment requirements and explains the type of information that owners or authorized operators of qualified hydroelectric facilities must provide in their application. In Fiscal Year 2021, DOE expanded the eligibility criteria to indicate that additional hydroelectric facilities, such as those located in communities with inadequate electric service, were eligible to receive incentive payments.

DOE anticipates opening the next round of funding for power generated in calendar year 2021 after the applications for calendar year 2020 have been fully reviewed and awarded, likely in the summer or fall of 2022.

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All previous DOE announcements for the Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program can be found below, organized by fiscal year.

FY2021

WPTO Announces New Round of Funding and Expanded Eligibility for Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is accepting applications for the latest round of funding under the Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program under Section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. A total of $7 million is available for qualified facilities based on the number of kilowatt-hours (kWh) generated in calendar year 2020 (CY20). Applications are due February 10, 2022.

Please note applicants are not required to obtain and provide a unique entity identifier (UEI) number with their applications. However, approved applicants will need to obtain a UEI number to receive payments. If a UEI number is obtained after submitting an application, please email your UEI number to hydroincentive@ee.doe.gov and reference your application. More information about UEI numbers is available on SAM.gov.

EERE Seeks Public Feedback to Define Inadequate Electric Service Areas

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE), and the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) released a Request for Information (RFI) to seek stakeholder input on factors to consider in relation to defining “an area where there is inadequate electric service”, a phrase which will inform eligibility criteria for WPTO’s Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program. Defining this term will allow the Section 242 Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program to be executed, and increase access to clean, hydroelectric power to U.S. citizens in communities with inadequate electric services. This may include rural, remote, and underserved communities.

FY2020

Recipients Selected for FY2020 Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

DOE selected 42 recipients for the $7 million FY2020 round of funding under section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Qualified facilities were selected based on the number of kilowatt hours generated by the facility in calendar year 2019. The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program provides funding for projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams throughout the United States.

FY2019

Recipients Selected for FY2019 Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

DOE selected 48 recipients for the $6.6 million FY2019 round of funding under section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Qualified facilities were selected based on the number of kilowatt hours generated by the facility in calendar year 2018. The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program provides funding for projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams throughout the United States.

FY2018

Recipients Selected for FY2018 of Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

DOE selected 37 recipients for the FY2018 round of funding under section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program provides funding for projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams throughout the United States. 

FY2017

Recipients Selected for FY2017 of Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

DOE selected 49 recipients for the FY2017 round of funding under section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program provides funding for projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams throughout the United States. 

FY2016

Recipients Selected for FY2016 of Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

DOE selected 45 recipients for the FY2016 round of funding under section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program provides funding for projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams throughout the United States. 

FY2015

Recipients Selected for FY2015 of Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program

DOE selected 45 recipients for the FY2015 round of funding under section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005. The Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program provides funding for projects adding hydroelectric power generating capabilities to existing dams throughout the United States. 

FY2014

EPACT Section 242 Comments and DOE Responses

On July 2, 2014, the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) published and requested comment on draft guidance in the Federal Register for implementing Section 242 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005). See 79 FR 37733 (July 2, 2014). In many instances, there were common themes among the commenters that were consolidated and summarized in the first pdf below.

The Energy Department accepted feedback on the initial draft guidance in July, 2014 and released revised draft guidance for public comment from Oct. 20-Nov. 4, 2014. The second document below contains the response to comments that were received in regards to a revised draft of the EPAct 2005 Section 242 “Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program Application Guidance” that was released on October 20, 2014.