The US Department of Energy (DoE) on Monday announced almost USD 600 million (EUR 544.7m) in funding available to “water power” projects that will either modernise existing hydroelectric plants or advance marine energy development across the country.
The vast majority of the funds – up to USD 553.6 million – are set aside for projects under the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives programme administered by DoE’s Grid Deployment Office. The idea behind this programme is to modernise existing hydropower and pumped-storage facilities through capital improvements related to, but not limited to, wind and solar integration, dam safety, and environmental conditions.
The DoE is now accepting applications for participation in this programme, with letters of intent due on June 22, 2023. The deadline for submitting full applications is October 6, 2023.
Meanwhile, the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) released a USD-45-million funding opportunity that marks the DoE’s largest-ever investment in marine energy.
Defined as Topic Area 1, WPTO will provide up to USD 35 million to support the development of a tidal and/or current energy technology pilot in state waters. This project could eventually lead to the installation of 1 MW to 5 MW of power generation capacity.
Demonstrating the commercial viability of the system is a key goal of the initiative and in the best-case scenario, the site will be developed into a large grid-connected array of more than 5 MW that will “jumpstart” the industry in the US.
The remaining USD 10 million will be allocated to a community-scale project under Topic Area 2.
All applicants must file a concept paper before getting the chance to submit a full application. For Topic Area 1, the respective deadlines for submitting concept papers and full applications are June 5 and July 25, 2023, while those for Topic Area 2 are July 13 and October 19, 2023. Award negotiations are expected to take place between November 2023 and February 2024 for Topic Area 1 and between April and June 2024 for Topic Area 2.
(USD 1.0 = EUR 0.908)