Eaton receives new US DOE funding to advance hydropower projects


US-based power management company Eaton has secured funding from the US Department of Energy (US DOE) to install new hydropower generation solutions on dams and waterways.

The funding has been awarded under Phase II of a contract by the US Department of Energy (DOE) and is expected to help advance the resiliency of the US’ national power grid.

With the funding, Eaton will produce and test integrated hydropower turbines and generator sets to help improve the cost-effectiveness of new generation facilities. Eaton will also develop a scaled-down prototype, which was designed during the first phase of the contract awarded in 2014.

"More than 50GW of potential capacity remains untapped at existing small-scale hydropower sites."

As part of Phase I, Eaton conducted a system architecture and trade study to create component sizing for optimising system cost, performance, and versatility of non-powered dam sites in the US.

Phase II is scheduled to be completed by next year.

Eaton research and technology principal engineer David Yee said: “According to energy department assessments, more than 50GW of potential capacity remains untapped at existing small-scale hydropower sites, which is a huge potential resource for renewable energy.

“Eaton is leveraging decades of manufacturing and engineering expertise to help innovate hydro turbine technology to improve economics in small-scale hydropower applications and make renewable power more accessible to developers.”


Image: Hume Weir dam and hydro power station near Albury on the NSW/Victoria border, Australia. Photo: courtsey of Martin/Flickr.