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  • Writer's pictureCaroline Winter

Dept. of Energy - Hydropower Operations Optimization (H2Os) Prize. Phase Two is now Open.

Opportunity Title:

Hydropower Operations Optimization (H2Os) Prize


The U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE's) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is launching the Hydropower Operations Optimization (H2Os) Prize to encourage the development of new solutions that can help advance hydropower's contribution to the grid. Hydropower provides beneficial operational flexibility in timing and storage of energy that can be better leveraged to meet grid needs. This competition challenges innovators to employ modeling, data analytics, and machine learning to schedule hydropower operations in coordination with existing grid scheduling practices while respecting water management operations and constraints.

The three-phase competition is offering a combined cash prize pool of up to $75,000.

As the U.S. grid evolves and integrates more variable renewable energy resources like wind and solar, hydropower will need to adapt to changing grid conditions and support the reliability and resiliency of the grid while also meeting water management needs, such as water supply, environmental flow requirements, and management of nuisance flooding. By increasing hydropower's ability to operate flexibly and support variable energy resources, solutions funded by this solicitation support the Biden Administration's goal of a decarbonized power sector by 2035.

Hydropower technologies are versatile and can be dispatched quickly. They can operate reliably and sustainably, but grid operators often limit existing hydropower resources based on conservative estimates of hydropower availability and water management practices.

As part of WPTO's Hydropower and Water Innovation for a Resilient Energy System (HydroWIRES) Initiative, the H2Os Prize encourages competitors to leverage both advanced modeling as well as data analytics and machine learning capabilities to develop solutions that can help hydropower systems coordinate with existing grid scheduling practices and offer the full set of hydropower resource capabilities.


The prize aims to attract and support dedicated, cross-disciplinary teams of highly capable individuals interested in contributing to solutions that will help improve the performance of hydropower system operations and spur the clean energy transition.

Award Details:

Phase 1

  • Prize pool up to $10,000

  • Grand prize of $3,000

  • $1,000 prizes for up to 7 other winners

Phase 2

  • Prize pool up to $15,000

  • Grand prize of $7,500

  • $1,500 prizes for up to 5 other winners

Phase 3

  • Prize pool up to $50,000

  • Grand prize of $30,000

  • $10,000 prizes for second and third place winners

Application Deadline:

Phase One Opens: April 6, 2022

Phase One Submission Closes: May 20, 2022

Phase One Winner Announcement and Phase Two Opens: July 7, 2022

Phase Two Submission Closes: August 18, 2022

Phase Two Winner Announcement and Phase Three Opens: September 22, 2022

Phase Three Submission Closes: November 2022

Phase Three Winner Announcement: December 2022

Grant Management Associates has years of experience with opportunities like this one. Contact us today for a consultation.

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