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Water Power Technologies Office Seeks Test Facilities to Join New Hydropower Testing Network


The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) today launched the first phase of the Hydropower Testing Network (HyTN), which aims to connect hydropower technology developers to testing capability providers. WPTO seeks test facilities interested in joining HyTN and working with developers to test their technologies and advance them toward commercialization.

“Hydropower has a key role in helping the electricity grid remain reliable and stable as it evolves and incorporates more variable renewable energy resources like wind and solar,” said Matthew Grosso, WPTO acting director. “We are excited to help advance hydropower technologies and build a network that provides developers with access to U.S.-based test facilities and technical expertise.”

Hydropower accounts for 28.7% of U.S. renewable electricity generation and about 6.2% of all U.S. electricity generation. However, for this resource to make the most impact in the clean energy transition, U.S. hydropower facilities will need upgrades and new technologies will need to be developed. This requires access to a wide range of testing capabilities. HyTN seeks to increase access to testing, which will help boost the technology readiness of hydropower innovations.

HyTN will run in three phases:

  • Phase 1: Testing Facility (Voucher Provider) Selection: During this phase, test facilities can apply to join the network. If selected and matched to a technology developer, the test facility will receive funding to provide testing services to the technology developer. Phase 1 is now open and interested facilities should submit applications by August 8, 2024.
  • Phase 2: Technology Developer (Voucher Recipient) Selection and Matchmaking: During this phase, technology developers can apply for testing services. If selected, developers will be matched with a test facility. Developers will then receive up to $250,000 in services to implement targeted physical testing activities that advance technology readiness. Phase 2 is expected to open in fall 2024.
  • Phase 3: Project Execution: During this phase, facilities and developers will determine the scope of work, establish a contract, and begin work. 

With Phase 1 now open, WPTO invites academic institutions and private, national, and federal laboratories to apply to become a test facility (or voucher provider). WPTO seeks facilities that have existing capabilities to test hydropower technologies. Capabilities of interest include but are not limited to:

  • Hydraulic testing 
  • Mechanical, material, and structural testing
  • Electrical and electronic testing 
  • Biological and aquatic testing. 

Each facility selected to become part of HyTN will have one or more capabilities that can be provided as a technical support service to technology developers (or voucher recipients). Prospective test facilities should submit their application on the ENERGYWERX page by August 8, 2024. Please see the ENERGYWERX page for submission details and eligibility requirements.

The HyTN voucher opportunity is funded by WPTO.  The program is managed by ENERGYWERX in partnership with DOE, a collaboration made possible through an innovative partnership intermediary agreement set up by DOE’s Office of Technology Transitions.