On April 27, 2020, the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) released a Request for Information (RFI) to gather information and feedback from hydropower industry stakeholders on its Hydropower Program Research and Development (R&D) Strategy and Hydro and Water Innovation for a Resilient Electricity System (HydroWIRES) Research Roadmap.

DOE’s RFI explains that the agency has recently developed “foundational framing materials” including Vision and Hydropower Program Mission statements to serve as the basis for its long-term Hydropower R&D program, including some that were first presented at the WPTO’s public Peer Review process in October and November 2019.  In April 2019, WPTO initiated the HydroWIRES program to better support the agency’s contributions to pumped storage hydropower’s integration into the U.S. electric grid.

The RFI requests information from hydropower stakeholders on whether, in their view, DOE’s draft Vision or Hydropower Program Mission statements include problematic language or inadequately address certain issues.  It also asks stakeholders whether they agree with the framing and organization of challenges facing the U.S. hydropower industry and DOE’s potential approaches to addressing them; and requests recommendations to reframe or reorganize existing information.

With respect to the HydroWIRES Initiative, the RFI requests information on whether the HydroWIRES mission is properly focused, whether its technical objectives are valuable and achievable, whether there are research gaps that are not addressed, and what outcomes would be most impactful.

Responses to the RFI can be submitted electronically to WPTORFI@ee.doe.gov by 5:00 p.m. (ET) on June 24, 2020, and supporting documents on DOE”s Hydropower R&D Strategy and HydroWIRES program are available here.