Industry Veteran Timothy Welch Tapped to Manage to the Hydroelectric Incentives Program, including EPAct Sections 242, 243, and 247

With a mission to provide electricity to everyone, everywhere, DOE’s new Grid Deployment Office (GDO) is focused on improving and expanding transmission and distribution systems and maintaining and investing in critical generation facilities, like hydroelectric, to ensure all communities have access to reliable, affordable electricity. GDO falls under the newly created Office of the Under Secretary for Infrastructure, which is focused on deploying clean energy solutions while centralizing existing offices focused on major demonstration and deployment. 



Industry veteran Timothy Welch has been tapped to manage GDO’s Hydroelectric Incentives Program, which will administer $753.6 million in efficiency, grid resiliency, dam safety, and environmental improvements provided under the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law (BIL). 


“We’re thrilled to have Tim join our team as the leader of the Hydroelectric Incentives Program in our Power Generation Assistance Division,” said Maria Robinson, Director of the Grid Deployment Office. “Under his leadership, this program will help the existing fleet make required upgrades, become more efficient, and improve integration with other renewable energy sources. Maintaining and investing in critical hydroelectric generation facilities and ensuring resource adequacy are a critical piece of being able to provide electricity to everyone, everywhere. Providing firm generation capacity, in conjunction with developing and deploying innovative grid modernization solution is what will get us to President Biden’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. 


Following a 25-year tenure with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Tim has managed the Hydropower R&D portfolio within DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office since 2014, focusing on new technologies for low-impact hydropower growth, understanding and improving hydropower’s role in an evolving grid and its environmental impacts, and modernizing the existing U.S. hydropower fleet. During that time, Tim has managed the Energy Policy Act of 2005 Section 242: Hydroelectric Production Incentive Program, which adds hydropower capacity to nonpowered dams. Under the BIL, this program has been transitioned to the Grid Deployment Office. 


In his new role, Tim will continue to administer this program, as well as two new BIL-funded Energy Policy Act of 2005 incentive programs: the Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentives Program (EPACT Section 243), which addresses hydropower efficiency upgrades and the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Improvement Incentives (EPACT Section 247), which focuses on hydropower capital improvements in the areas of dam safety, grid resiliency, and environmental mitigation. 


On June 30, 2022, the Energy Department released a request for information (RFI) to inform the development of the Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentives Program (Section 243) and Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives Program (Section 247). Responses were due September 6, 2022, by 11:59 p.m. ET. An information webinar was held on August 9, 2022.