The US Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) has launched the Hydropower Testing Network (HyTN) to connect hydropower technology developers with testing facilities. WPTO is seeking facilities to join HyTN and collaborate with developers to test and advance their technologies toward commercialization.

“Hydropower has a key role in helping the electricity grid remain reliable and stable as it evolves and incorporates more variable renewable energy resources like wind and solar,” said Matthew Grosso, WPTO acting director. “We are excited to help advance hydropower technologies and build a network that provides developers with access to US-based test facilities and technical expertise.”

Hydropower generates 28.7% of US renewable electricity and 6.2% of total US electricity. To maximize its impact on the clean energy transition, US hydropower facilities need upgrades and new technologies. Hydropower Testing Network aims to increase access to testing capabilities, boosting the technology readiness of hydropower innovations.

HyTN will proceed in three phases:

  1. Testing Facility (Voucher Provider) Selection: Test facilities can apply to join the network and receive funding to provide testing services to technology developers. Applications are open until August 8, 2024.
  2. Technology Developer (Voucher Recipient) Selection and Matchmaking: Technology developers can apply for testing services and, if selected, will be matched with a test facility. Developers will receive up to $250,000 in services for targeted physical testing. This phase opens in fall 2024.
  3. Project Execution: Facilities and developers will determine the scope of work, establish a contract, and begin work.

WPTO invites academic institutions, and private, national, and federal laboratories to apply as test facilities for the Hydropower Testing Network. Interested facilities should have capabilities in hydraulic, mechanical, material, structural, electrical, electronic, biological, and aquatic testing. Applications should be submitted on the ENERGYWERX page by August 8, 2024.

The Hydropower Testing Network voucher opportunity is funded by WPTO and managed by ENERGYWERX in partnership with DOE, facilitated through an innovative partnership intermediary agreement by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions.