DOE announces $28 million in new funding to advance hydropower technology

24 October 2022

The US Department of Energy (DOE) has approved $28 million across three funding opportunities to support research and development projects that will advance and preserve hydropower as a critical source of clean energy.

Funded through President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, this funding will support the expansion of low-impact hydropower (such as retrofits for dams that do not produce power) and pumped storage hydropower, the development of new pumped storage hydropower facilities, and engagement with key voices on issues like hydropower fleet modernization, sustainability, and environmental impacts. President Biden’s Inflation Reduction Act also includes a standalone tax credit for energy storage, which will further enhance the economic attractiveness of pumped storage hydropower. 

“Hydropower has long provided Americans with significant, reliable energy, which will now play a crucial role in achieving energy independence and protecting the climate,” said US Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm. “President Biden’s Agenda is funding critical innovations to capitalize on the promise of hydropower and ensure communities have a say in building America’s clean energy future.” 

The new funding opportunities include: 

  • Advancing the sustainable development of hydropower and pumped storage hydropower by encouraging innovative solutions to retrofit non-powered dams, the development and testing of technologies that mitigate challenges to pumped storage hydropower deployment, as well as opportunities for organizations not extensively engaged with DOE’s Water Power Technologies Office to support hydropower research and development. (Funding amount: $14.5 million) 
  • Supporting studies that facilitate the licensing and eventual construction and commissioning of new pumped storage hydropower facilities to facilitate the long-duration storage of intermittent renewable electricity. (Funding amount: $10 million) 
  • Uplifting 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. (Funding amount: $4 million)

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