Federal Agencies Extend MOU for Hydropower Development

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The Departments of the Interior and Energy and the Department of the Army for Civil Works (Army Corps of Engineers) announced that they have extended their partnership to advance hydropower development for an additional five years. The new agreement is an extension of the Memorandum of Understanding for Hydropower the three agencies signed in 2010.

In the new agreement- termed an Action Plan- the agencies commit to working toward the following:

  • Improve the accuracy and reduce costs of water flow measurement technology, which, if successful, could increase generation at existing plants and improve the productivity of new hydropower systems yet to be installed.
  • Evaluate new superconducting generator technology that could significantly reduce the size and weight of generators for new hydropower projects, potentially leading to reduced costs and increased generator output for existing facilities.
  • Further develop low-impact, low-cost hydropower technologies suitable for demonstration and deployment at non-powered dams and conduits, where there is potential to increase U.S. hydropower generation by more than 17,500 gigawatt hours per year – equivalent to powering more than 1.5 million U.S. homes per year.
  • Develop design tools to improve the environmental performance of hydropower turbines for responsible deployment.
  • Further assess the risks to U.S. hydropower generation and water infrastructure posed by climate change.

Read the press release by the DOE and the Action Plan.