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Strategies to Increase Hydropower Flexibility

Federal Agency


Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO)


To help strengthen hydropower’s ability to support an electric grid with an increasing amount of variable renewable energy resources.

Applicant and/or Project Eligibility Requirements

Eligible applicants include states, local governments, Indian tribes, nonprofit entities and institutions of higher education. There are three topic areas: 1) hybridized hydropower demonstration, 2) technologies to increase flexibility, and 3) operational flexibility.

Decarbonization Considerations

Reduction of power system GHG emissions is one of the three broad goals for all topic areas. Specifically for topic area 1, applicants are encouraged to explore the combinations of wind, solar, and hydropower. Other than generation profiles, sharing interconnection rights or infrastructure, or doubling up on required space, can help reduce combined costs. One interesting example is the potential for floating solar photovoltaics to rest on hydropower reservoirs.

Equity Considerations

Consider locating the project in disadvantaged communities to maximize the local benefits. Such benefits might include but are not limited to strengthening energy resilience and providing training and green job opportunities to local students and residents. Applicants are required to submit a Community Benefits Plan (CBP) that addresses how the project can (1) advance diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility (DEIA); (2) contribute to energy equity; and (3) invest in America’s workforce.

Helpful Tips


Other Notes


Deadline (Announced or Anticipated)

February 9, 2024 (Concept Paper); May 17, 2024 (Full Application)

Funding Available

$4,000,000 for topic areas 1 and 2 respectively, and $1,500,000 for topic area 3

Max Award Amount

Varies by topic area

Expected Allocations


Average Award (Estimated)


Matching Funds

50% cost share required for topic area 1 (10% for federally recognized Indian Tribes), 20% for topic area 2 and 3

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