The President's Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests $553.6 million to maintain and enhance existing hydroelectric facilities to ensure generators continue to provide clean electricity, while integrating renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, improving dam safety, and reducing environmental impacts.
One of three BIL-supported programs administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives (BIL provision 40333 and EPAct section 247), invests in capital improvements directly related to the three main areas:
Improving Grid Resiliency
Improving Dam Safety
On June 13, 2023, the Grid Deployment Office released modified application guidance updating the application guidance released with the solicitation on May 8, 2023, for the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives (EPAct 2005 Section 247). The window for Letters of Intent (LOI) closed on June 22, 2023, which were required in order to file a full application. The window for full applications closed on October 6, 2023. DOE is now in the process of reviewing applications and will notify applicants of their eligibility.
An informational webinar focused on the Application Guidance was held on May 24, 2023. A webinar on Community Benefits Plans was held on July 12, 2023. The Community Benefits Plan Objectives Summary referenced within the application guidance is also available. Additionally, an application pre-filing webinar was held on August 16, 2023.
For purposes of the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives, a qualified hydroelectric facility must be:
- Licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or is a hydroelectric project constructed, operated, or maintained pursuant to a permit or valid existing right-of-way granted prior to June 10, 1920, or a license granted pursuant to the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.);
- Placed into service before November 15, 2021;
- In compliance with all applicable Federal, Tribal, and State requirements, or would be brought into compliance with these requirements as a result of the capital improvements carried out using an incentive payment under this section.
Qualified pumped storage hydropower facilities are also eligible to apply under Section 247.
Payments shall not exceed 30% of the costs of the applicable capital improvement. A single qualified hydroelectric facility may only receive one incentive payment from this program within a single fiscal year, and that payment shall not exceed $5 million.
Don’t miss out on updates from the Grid Deployment Office! Enter your email here to receive news—and be sure to select the Hydroelectric Incentives topic.