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Grants to USA Nonprofits, Agencies, and For-Profits
to Advance Hydroelectric Power Technologies

Technology Innovation to Increase Hydropower Flexibility

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U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) - Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE)

Conf. Date:


LOI Date:


Deadline Date:

01/21/22 5:00 PM ET


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Grants to USA and territories nonprofit organizations, government agencies, educational institutions, for-profits, and individuals for projects that advance hydroelectric power technologies. Interested applicants are advised that required registrations may take several weeks to complete. Concept papers are required prior to submission of the full proposal. Funding is intended to support technological innovations that increase the flexible operation potential of hydropower units. The purpose of the program is to develop unit-level technologies to improve the ability of hydropower plants to operate in a flexible fashion, and/or to mitigate negative impacts on equipment of more flexible operation.

Technology Innovation to Increase Hydropower Flexibility

The FOA seeks next-generation technologies from manufacturers, equipment vendors, and research organizations to improve the flexible capabilities of the U.S. hydropower fleet. The development of technical solutions to improve hydropower flexibility – either by improving performance across various dimensions of unit-level flexibility, or by reducing potential negative impacts of flexible operations – can improve hydropower’s ability to integrate additional variable renewable resources and support power system decarbonization.

Flexibility may be broadly defined as the ability of a system or component to adapt to changing grid conditions while providing electricity safely, reliably, affordably, and in an environmentally responsible manner. Hydropower has significant capabilities for flexible operation.

Technology innovations of interest in this FOA include those that can increase the flexibility of hydropower units, for example, through enabling expanded operating range, faster ramping and start-stops, and improved frequency and voltage control. Also of interest are innovations to reduce the negative impacts, such as accelerated machine wear-and-tear, associated with operating the unit more flexibly. The FOA will solicit technology innovations that can advance to the prototype testing or demonstration stage, preferably including partnership with a hydropower owner or operator.

Innovations developed under this FOA will support WPTO’s HydroWIRES Initiative, which seeks to understand, enable, and improve hydropower and pumped storage hydropower’s (PSH) contributions to reliability, resilience, and integration in the rapidly evolving U.S. electricity system. This FOA will proceed to the next step of increasing hydropower flexibility through novel technology development. 

The research and development (R&D) activities to be funded by this program will support the government-wide approach to the climate crisis by driving the innovation that can lead to the deployment of clean energy technologies, which are critical for climate protection. Specifically, this FOA will seek technology advancements that can increase the flexibility of the hydropower fleet, so that hydropower can better enable increased deployment of other sources of renewable generation to support the goals of carbon pollution-free electricity by 2035 and net-zero GHG emissions by 2050. 

For Scope, technical requirements, and work to be performed,  see file:///C:/Users/jaost/Downloads/HydroWIRES%20-%20FOA-0002417%20-%20MOD0001%20(2).pdf#page=15.

GrantWatch ID#:

GrantWatch ID#: 198857

Estimated Total Program Funding:


Number of Grants:

EERE anticipates making approximately 2 to 6 awards under this FOA. EERE may issue one, multiple, or no awards.

Estimated Size of Grant:

- Award Ceiling: $4,000,000
- Award Floor: $1,000,000

Term of Contract:

Anticipated Period of Performance: 18-36 months

EERE may, at its discretion, authorize the following actions: (1) Continue to fund the project, contingent upon the availability of funds appropriated by Congress for the purpose of this program and the availability of future-year budget authority; (2) recommend redirection of work under the project; (3) place a hold on federal funding for the project, pending further supporting data or funding; or (4) discontinue funding the project because of insufficient progress, change in strategic direction, or lack of funding.

Additional Eligibility Criteria:

Eligible applicants include:

i. Individuals: U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are eligible to apply for funding as a prime recipient or subrecipient.

ii. Domestic Entities: For-profit entities, educational institutions, and nonprofits that are incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a particular state or territory of the United States and have a physical location for business operations in the United States are eligible to apply for funding as a prime recipient or subrecipient.

State, local, and tribal government entities are eligible to apply for funding as a prime recipient or subrecipient.

iii. Foreign Entities: Foreign entities, whether for-profit or otherwise, are eligible to apply for funding under this FOA. Other than as provided in the “Individuals” or “Domestic Entities” sections above, all prime recipients receiving funding under this FOA must be incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a state or territory of the United States and have a physical location for business operations in the United States. If a foreign entity applies for funding as a prime recipient, it must designate in the Full Application a subsidiary or affiliate incorporated (or otherwise formed) under the laws of a state or territory of the United States to be the prime recipient. Foreign entities may request a waiver of the requirement to designate a subsidiary in the United States as the prime recipient in the Full Application (i.e., a foreign entity may request that it remains the prime recipient on an award).

All work performed under EERE awards must be performed in the United States.

- Nonprofit organizations described in section 501(c)(4) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986 that engaged in lobbying activities after December 31, 1995 are not eligible to apply for funding.
- DOE/NNSA FFRDCs are not eligible to apply as either a prime recipient or subrecipient.
- Non-DOE/NNSA FFRDCs are eligible to apply for funding as a subrecipient, but are not eligible to apply as a prime recipient.
- Federal agencies and instrumentalities (other than DOE) are eligible to apply for funding as a subrecipient, but are not eligible to apply as a prime recipient.

WPTO encourages collaboration across sectors to ensure broad impact of work performed on hydropower operational flexibility. WPTO will compile a Teaming Partner List that can be used by potential applicants or entities interested in partnering with applicants who want to find partners.

For additional eligibility information, see file:///C:/Users/jaost/Downloads/HydroWIRES%20-%20FOA-0002417%20-%20MOD0001%20(2).pdf#page=23.

This FOA seeks to encourage the participation of underserved communities and underrepresented groups. Applicants are highly encouraged to include individuals from groups historically underrepresented11,12 in STEM on their project teams. As part of the application, applicants are required to describe how diversity, equity, and inclusion objectives will be incorporated in the project. Specifically, applicants are required to submit a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan.

The following types of applications will be deemed nonresponsive and will not be reviewed or considered:
- Applications that fall outside the technical parameters specified in Section I.A. and I.B. of the FOA.
- Applications for proposed technologies that are not based on sound scientific principles (e.g., violates the laws of thermodynamics).
- Applications proposing purely analytical or software modeling studies that do not include technology development.
- Applications whose technology would require modifications to the hydropower unit that are unsafe for staff, structures, or the environment.

Pre-proposal Conference:

An informational webinar will be held on October 13, 2021 from 1:30PM - 2:30PM MT/3:30PM-4:30PM ET.
Join from the meeting link:

Join from the meeting link:

Meeting number (access code): 2761 173 9744, Meeting password: 8Kn44uAmcQp

Tap to join from a mobile device (attendees only):
+1-415-527-5035,,27611739744## US Toll
+1-929-251-9612,,27611739744## USA Toll 2
Global call-in numbers

Pre-Application Information:

Submission Deadlines:
- Concept Paper Submission Deadline: 11/2/2021 5:00 PM ET
- Full Application Submission Deadline: 1/21/2022 5:00 PM ET
- View Full Application Reviewer Comments Period: 2/21/2022 5:00 PM ET – 2/25/2022 5:00 PM ET

Applicants are strongly encouraged to submit their Concept Papers, Full Applications, and Replies to Reviewer Comments at least 48 hours in advance of the submission deadline.

Registration requirements:
There are several one-time actions before submitting an application in response to this FOA, and it is vital that applicants address these items as soon as possible. Some may take several weeks, and failure to complete them could interfere with an applicant’s ability to apply to this FOA, or to meet the negotiation deadlines and receive an award if the application is selected. The necessary registration requirements listed below could take several weeks to process:
1. Register and create an account on EERE Exchange.
2. Obtain a DUNS number.
3. Register with SAM.
4. Register in FedConnect.
5. Register in

- The application process will include two phases: A Concept Paper phase and a Full Application phase. Only applicants who have submitted an eligible Concept Paper will be eligible to submit a Full Application.
- At each phase, EERE performs an initial eligibility review of the applicant submissions to determine whether they meet the eligibility requirements of the FOA. EERE will not review or consider submissions that do not meet the eligibility requirements.

Cost share: The cost share must be at least 20% of the total allowable costs for research and development projects (i.e., the sum of the government share, including FFRDC costs if applicable, and the recipient share of allowable costs equals the total allowable cost of the project) and must come from non-federal sources unless otherwise allowed by law

EERE will accept only new applications under this FOA. EERE will not consider applications for renewals of existing EERE-funded awards through this FOA.

An entity may submit more than one Concept Paper and Full Application to this FOA, provided that each application describes a unique, scientifically distinct project and provided that an eligible Concept Paper was submitted for each Full Application.

For information on the HydroWIRES Initiative:

To view the Grant Opportunity on

Contact Information:

Before starting your grant application, please review the funding source's website listed below for updates/changes/addendums/conferences/LOIs.

To apply online:

For Questions about this FOA, email

For technical support, email EERE Exchange at (Include FOA name and number in
subject line.)

CFDA Number:


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URL for Full Text (RFP):

Geographic Focus:

USA: Alabama;   Alaska;   Arizona;   Arkansas;   California;   Colorado;   Connecticut;   Delaware;   Florida;   Georgia;   Hawaii;   Idaho;   Illinois;   Indiana;   Iowa;   Kansas;   Kentucky;   Louisiana;   Maine;   Maryland;   Massachusetts;   Michigan;   Minnesota;   Mississippi;   Missouri;   Montana;   Nebraska;   Nevada;   New Hampshire;   New Jersey;   New Mexico;   New York City;   New York;   North Carolina;   North Dakota;   Ohio;   Oklahoma;   Oregon;   Pennsylvania;   Rhode Island;   South Carolina;   South Dakota;   Tennessee;   Texas;   Utah;   Vermont;   Virginia;   Washington, DC;   Washington;   West Virginia;   Wisconsin;   Wyoming

USA Territories: American Samoa (USA)   Guam (USA)   Puerto Rico (USA)   Virgin Islands (USA)   Northern Mariana Islands (USA)

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