U.S. Department of Energy Secretary Steven Chu announced up to $32 million in Recovery Act funding, which is designed to support the deployment of hydropower turbines and control technologies to increase power generation and environmental stewardship at existing non-Federal hydroelectric facilities.
Secretary Chu noted a key benefit of hydropower: potential hydro energy can be stored behind dams and released when it is most needed. Therefore, improving the U.S. hydro infrastructure can help to increase the utilization and economic viability of intermittent renewable energy sources like wind and solar power. Secretary Chu is committed to further developing pumped storage technology to harness these advantages.
The Funding Opportunity Announcement under the Recovery Act will be competitively awarded to a variety of non-Federal hydropower projects that can be developed without significant modifications to dams and with a minimum of regulatory delay.
Projects will be selected in two areas:
- Deployment of Hydropower Upgrades at Projects >50 MW: These include projects at large, non-Federal facilities with existing or advanced technologies that will enable improved environmental performance and significant new generation.
- Deployment of Hydropower Upgrades at Projects < 50 MW: These include projects at small-scale non-Federal facilities with existing or advanced technologies that will enable improved environmental performance and significant new generation.
Letters of intent are due July 22nd, 2009, and completed applications August 20th, 2009.