Energy Department Announces $5 Million to Assess Upgrade Opportunities at Hydropower Facilities
April 17, 2012
In support of President Obama's all-of-the-above energy strategy, the Energy Department today announced up to $5 million available this year to assess opportunities to increase power production at up to 40 existing hydropower facilities around the nation. Through this competitive funding opportunity, the Department will work with hydropower professionals to conduct standardized assessments to identify opportunities to increase generation and value at hydropower plants—already the nation's largest source of renewable energy. As much of America's aging hydropower infrastructure is more than 50 years old, this effort could help accelerate the deployment of upgrades at existing hydropower facilities, creating clean energy jobs, supporting our nation's economic competitiveness, and increasing the supply of renewable energy to American families and businesses.
Although conventional hydropower already reliably supplies more than 6% of the nation's electricity, more than half of America's hydropower facilities use equipment that was designed and installed decades ago. Improvements to existing infrastructure could significantly boost the supply of hydroelectric generation and improve efficiency at our nation's current hydropower facilities without building new dams.
The assessments to be completed through this solicitation are part of the Energy Department's larger Hydropower Advancement Project, which seeks to accelerate the improvement and expansion of hydropower plants in the United States. The Energy Department will use these assessments to estimate the potential to increase energy generation from all U.S. hydropower facilities. Hydropower facility owners and operators will benefit from these assessments by identifying opportunities for improvement and expansion, and by quantifying the value those improvements could provide if implemented. Additionally, these assessments will encourage equipment upgrades at other hydroelectric facilities nationwide. For more details on this opportunity and how to apply, see the Funding Opportunity Announcement. For more information on the Hydropower Advancement Project, see the project website.
The Energy Department's Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) accelerates development and facilitates deployment of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies and market-based solutions that strengthen U.S. energy security, environmental quality, and economic vitality.
Learn more about EERE's investments to research, test, and develop innovative technologies capable of generating renewable, environmentally responsible, and cost-effective electricity from the nation's water resources.