Hydro, Regulation - May 12, 2023
DOE Announces $600 Million for U.S. Water Power
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced nearly $600 million in funding to modernize hydroelectric power and advance marine energy throughout the United States.
The first funding opportunity, Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives, is now accepting applications and will provide up to $554 million in incentive payments funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law to maintain and enhance hydroelectric facilities. An additional $45 million funding opportunity also funded by the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law will support a pilot demonstration site and community-led tidal and/or current energy project in the United States.
These announcements represent DOE's largest-ever investments in both hydropower and marine energy.
Hydropower currently provides 6% of all electricity in the United States and accounts for 32% of renewable electricity generation, as well as 93% of all utility-scale energy storage. However, the fleet is aging, and less than 3% of the nation’s more than 90,000 dams currently produce power. Adding generation equipment to these sites could add up to 12 gigawatts of new hydropower capacity to the U.S. electric system.
“Water power, the nation’s oldest source of renewable energy, is an integral tool to fight against climate change,” said U.S. Secretary of Energy Jennifer M. Granholm in a statement. “President Biden's Investing in America agenda provides historic funding that will expand and modernize water power technologies, ensuring a steady flow of reliable power to more Americans.”