The U.S. Department of Energy has announced a new round of financing for its hydropower incentive program in conjunction with the National Hydropower Association's annual Waterpower Week in Washington.
The program, spearheaded by DOE's Office of Energy Efficiency & Renewable Energy, is open to project owners and operators that produced hydroelectric power in 2015 from new equipment added to an existing dam or conduit constructed before 2005.
The $3.5 million in funding will be awarded as incentive payments based on kilowatt hours of hydro power generated in Calendar Year 2015, with qualified applicants eligible to receive 2.3 cents per kWh during the incentive period.
"The program has been very successful, and we've really provided incentives for a new generation of hydropower generation across the country," said DOE Director of Wind and Waterpower Jose Zayas during the conference's opening session today. "The first rounds have gone great, and we're excited to release this new opportunity."
DOE data shows hydro assets have helped eliminate more than 200 million metric tons of carbon emissions per year while providing about 7% of the nation's power. Adding hydroelectric generating capacity to currently non-powered infrastructure could provide as must as 12 GW of energy to the country's grids.
More information about the incentive program can be found at DOE's website here. Applications for funding are due by May 31, 2016.