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1) June 30 (news release): The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) today issued a Request for Information (RFI) seeking public feedback to inform the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law’s nearly $630 million in investments in hydropower facilities. President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law invests in the “Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives” and “Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentives” programs to modernize the nation’s hydropower facilities and produce more clean, affordable power. The funding will cover capital improvement projects that will make hydropower facilities more energy efficient and resilient. Water is a critical resource for generating clean, carbon-free electricity and crucial to reaching President Biden’s goal of a net-zero emissions economy by 2050. . . .

Hydropower facilities, which use the flow of moving water to generate electricity, currently supply 6% of all electricity in the United States and account for 32% of renewable-electricity generation. Hydropower also provides critical energy storage, accounting for 93% of all utility-scale energy storage, helping to ensure that power is available when consumers need it. Many hydropower facilities, however, require upgrades to become more efficient or better integrated with other renewable energy sources.

The Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives Program, managed by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office (GDO), provides $553.6 million in incentive payments to enhance existing hydropower facilities through capital improvements directly related to three main areas: grid resiliency, dam safety, and environmental improvements.

The Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentives Program, also managed by GDO, provides a total of $75 million in incentive payments to owners or operators of existing hydroelectric facilities who may apply for funding to make capital improvements that can increase efficiency by at least 3%.

Today’s RFI solicits feedback from a wide range of stakeholders, including industry, clean-energy advocates, and officials in areas that generate hydroelectricity, on the structure of these programs, timing and distribution of funds, definitions of capital improvements, and selection criteria. Comments must be received by 11:59 p.m. EDT on September 6, 2022, and can be submitted to WPTORFI@ee.doe.gov. A public webinar will be held to provide additional information.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Grid Deployment Office (GDO) is requesting information and feedback from stakeholders on issues related to the development of hydroelectric incentive programs authorized under sections 243 and 247 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (Pub. L. 109-58) (EPAct 2005), as amended by sections 40332 and 40333 of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law. See 42 U.S.C. 15882 and 15883. The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, Tribes, government agencies, state and local coalitions, academia, research laboratories, labor unions, community-based organizations (CBOs), and other stakeholders on definitions, program structure, and selection related to the Department’s authority to provide capital improvement incentives under Sections 243 and 247 of Epact 2005, as amended.

Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to WPTORFI@ee.doe.gov no later than 11:59pm (ET) on Tuesday, September 6 . . . .  On Tuesday, August 9, 2022, from 1:30 pm to 3:30 pm ET, DOE will hold an informal webinar to discuss general feedback from interested parties regarding the content of this RFI.

RFI notice: https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/Default.aspx#FoaId83745958-ab89-469a-aaf4-61655bded35b
RFI document (14 pages): https://eere-exchange.energy.gov/FileContent.aspx?FileID=eaf09552-4c51-4e92-ac38-f3a347c1b9db  
FRN: https://www.federalregister.gov/d/2022-14444

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