Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development of Hydropower in Undeveloped Stream Reaches of the United States; Request for Information, 78795-78797 [2016-27054]

Download as PDF Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 217 / Wednesday, November 9, 2016 / Notices cumulative impacts from past, present and reasonably foreseeable future projects. 3. Alternatives. The Draft EIS will include a co-equal analysis of several alternatives. Project alternatives will be further developed during this scoping process. Additional alternatives that may be developed during scoping will also be considered in the Draft EIS. 4. Scoping. The Corps and CVWD will jointly conduct a public scoping meeting to receive public comment regarding the appropriate scope and preparation of the Draft EIS. Participation by Federal, state, and local agencies and other interested organizations and persons is encouraged. 5. The Draft EIS is expected to be available for public review and comment 6 to 12 months after the scoping meeting, and a public meeting may be held after its publication. Dated: October 25, 2016. David Castanon, Chief, Regulatory Division. Table of Contents I. Background II. Purpose III. Request for Information Categories and Questions IV. Guidance for Submitting Documents [FR Doc. 2016–27063 Filed 11–8–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 3720–58–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development of Hydropower in Undeveloped Stream Reaches of the United States; Request for Information Water Power Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy (DOE). ACTION: Request for information (RFI). AGENCY: The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), within the Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing this request for information (RFI) to invite input from the public regarding challenges and opportunities associated with hydropower development in undeveloped stream-reaches. Through this RFI, the WPTO is also seeking input on the focus and structure of a potential funding opportunity to support research and development of advanced and/or non-traditional transformative hydropower technologies and project designs capable of avoiding or minimizing environmental and social effects of new cost-competitive hydropower development in undeveloped stream-reaches of the United States. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES SUMMARY: VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Nov 08, 2016 Responses must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on Friday, December 16, 2016. ADDRESSES: Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to HydroNextFOA@ee.doe.gov as Microsoft Word (.docx) attachments to an email, and no more than 6 pages in length, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. It is recommended that attachments with file sizes exceeding 25 MB be compressed (i.e., zipped) to ensure message delivery. Please include in the subject line ‘‘Comments for RFI’’. Only electronic responses will be accepted. FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions may be directed to: Rajesh Dham, Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: (202) 287–6675, Email: Rajesh.Dham@ee.doe.gov. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: DATES: Jkt 241001 I. Background Through its HydroNEXT initiative, WPTO’s Hydropower Program (the Program) invests in the development of innovative technologies that lower cost, improve performance, and promote environmental stewardship of hydropower development across three resource classes: • Existing non-powered dams (NPD) • Pumped storage hydropower (PSH) • New stream-reach development (NSD) Under a Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA) DE–FOA–0001455 titled, ‘‘Innovative Technologies to Advance Non-Powered Dam and Pumped Storage Hydropower Development,’’ the Program made federal funding available to research and develop innovative solutions for NPD and PSH development. In FY 2017, the Program seeks to overcome challenges associated with furthering the development of hydropower in new stream-reaches. Development of hydropower in new stream-reaches refers to new projects in stream segments and waterways that do not currently have hydroelectric facilities. New stream-reach development projects are subject to more scrutiny than projects for other hydropower resources (i.e. NPDs, refurbishments) because such development can have more extensive environmental and social effects, PO 00000 Frm 00024 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78795 particularly if construction of a dam or diversion is required. Construction of barriers in a natural waterway can affect fish migration, channel geomorphology, sediment transport, habitat connectivity, water quality, and flow regimes. The unique nature of new stream-reach development can also add cost, time, and uncertainty to the development process. These factors have hindered the development of this resource in recent decades. To realize sustainable and responsible hydropower development and to protect the integrity of existing streams, the Program is seeking information regarding transformative and/or innovative hydropower technologies that reduce or eliminate environmental concerns and are financially viable. II. Purpose The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other stakeholders on issues related to development of hydropower in new stream-reaches. EERE is specifically interested in information on the costs/benefits and environmental effects associated with such development, and possible solutions to address the related challenges. EERE is also seeking input on the focus and structure of a potential funding opportunity to support research and development of advanced and/or non-traditional transformative hydropower technologies and project designs capable of avoiding or minimizing environmental and social effects of new cost-competitive hydropower development in undeveloped stream-reaches of the United States. This is solely a request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement (FOA); EERE is not accepting applications. III. Request for Information Categories and Questions A. Category 1: New Stream-Reach Development (NSD) Challenges and Opportunities To accelerate the deployment of sustainable and responsible hydropower in new stream-reaches while protecting their social and environmental value, EERE is seeking input on the main challenges and potential opportunities for developing this resource. Specifically, we welcome feedback on the following questions: (1) How can advances in technology more readily address environmental challenges associated with hydropower development in undeveloped streams? (2) What are the technical challenges associated with new stream-reach E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1 78796 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 217 / Wednesday, November 9, 2016 / Notices development? How can DOE help address these challenges? (3) How can modularization of power train and civil works components affect project costs? How can standardized equipment build familiarity and assist with regulatory review of proposed new stream-reach development projects? (4) With recent advancements in additive manufacturing, it has become increasingly easy to embed sensors and other smart technology into equipment. How can this advancement be used to build smarter machines and change the way stakeholders address environmental concerns? (5) What other challenges is the hydropower community facing with regards to new stream-reach development? How can DOE help to address those challenges? B. Category 2: Transformative Hydropower Innovations sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES The DOE’s 2016 Hydropower Vision analysis 1 found that deployment of 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of new stream-reach development is possible by 2050 based on a scenario in which technology advancements lower capital and operating costs, innovative market mechanisms increase revenue and lower financing costs, and environmental considerations are taken into account. Further, alternative scenarios explored in the Hydropower Vision analysis also showed new stream-reach development could increase by an additional 15.5 GW by 2050 if a substantial level of transformative technological innovation were developed to successfully address the cost and environmental considerations associated with new stream-reach development. We are seeking input on the following questions related to this issue: (1) What type of transformative innovations (either in power train components or plant system designs) could hold the key to reducing or avoiding environmental effects typically associated with development of new stream-reaches? (2) How can Federal investments in research and development help increase benefits and reduce costs for new stream-reach development? What areas of investment would be most impactful? (3) Are other industries using technologies, equipment, or techniques 1 The 2016 Hydropower Vision analysis involved more than 50 modeled scenarios, each examining the effects of key variables or combination of variables that influence the deployment of hydropower facilities in electricity market competition with other generation sources. http:// energy.gov/eere/water/articles/hydropower-visionnew-chapter-america-s-1st-renewable-electricitysource. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Nov 08, 2016 Jkt 241001 that could be applied to hydropower to increase benefits and/or reduce new stream-reach development project costs, timelines, and environmental effects? Please provide examples. C. Category 3: Potential Funding Opportunity EERE seeks input on the focus and structure of a potential funding opportunity to support the development of environmentally-sustainable hydropower development in new stream-reaches. EERE welcomes feedback on the approach outlined below. The objective of this potential research is to develop advanced and/or non-traditional transformative hydropower technologies and project designs capable of avoiding or minimizing environmental and social effects for new cost-competitive hydropower development in undeveloped stream-reaches of the United States. Potential projects should be capable of reducing the environmental and social effects of civil works and other disturbances resulting from the development of hydropower in undeveloped stream-reaches. Of particular interest are projects that do not require the use of a dam to create the head differential necessary to generate hydropower. Following a two-phase process, potential researchers should be able to demonstrate—through research, analysis, and engineering design—that the proposed systems can meet the following metrics: 1. Environmental and Social Impact 2 2. Technical Feasibility 3. Cost Competitiveness Phase 1 (12 Months) Research the available hydropower potential and develop innovative and transformative design strategies that include ways to increase head for costcompetitive and environmentally sustainable hydropower development. Such designs should include the following features: • Transformative diversionary structures without the use of a solid dam: examples include side intakes or side-channel intakes and headrace canals, and trench weirs with suitable water conveyance systems • Alternative water conveyance systems using innovative technologies (such as advanced tunneling methods, intakes, alternative pipe materials and 2 Environmental and Social Impact refers to how construction and operation of a project affects geomorphology, water quality, and the function of streams in supporting social objectives (e.g., recreation) and species reproduction. PO 00000 Frm 00025 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 manufacturing, and tailrace systems) to increase power density and reduce component and system costs • Use of low impact, modular, and scalable hydropower technologies as applicable to achieve cost reductions Researchers should consider multipurpose use of the hydropower facility that may help to reduce the cost allocation to hydropower development. Further, awardees will perform desktop studies using available data to identify probable locations on undeveloped stream-reaches for potential application of their innovative/transformational design strategies. These studies will help to identify the most favorable sites and inform reconnaissance and feasibility studies in Phase 2. Phase 2 (12–18 Months) With respect to the most favorable sites identified in Phase I, researchers should perform: (A) Reconnaissance studies, and (B) Feasibility studies. A. Reconnaissance Studies Reconnaissance studies are performed with the aim of determining if further feasibility studies are warranted. These studies should: 1. Scope the extent of study necessary for hydropower site development and preliminary economic analysis 2. Develop a preliminary layout (plan and cross-section) 3. Assess the head and flow (site hydrology) 4. Determine the type of turbinegenerator for the head and flow for the purpose of obtaining typical equipment costs 5. Estimate preliminary power potential 6. Evaluate the transmission requirements at a high level for power take-off 7. Assess potential environmental and social impacts and related mitigation 8. Develop a high level cost estimate 9. Estimate potential revenue streams 10. Determine economic feasibility including possible financing costs 11. Include a report to document reconnaissance findings B. Feasibility Studies Feasibility studies are performed with the aim of determining if an investment commitment should be made without actual ground disturbance and the requirement of permit(s). These studies will include the following activities: 1. A firm-up of the project layout to include alternate sites based on actual preliminary site investigations 2. Confirmation of the project parameters such as: E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1 Federal Register / Vol. 81, No. 217 / Wednesday, November 9, 2016 / Notices a. Head b. flow duration and unit flow c. number and type of units d. installed capacity e. water conductor system and ancillary equipment and other physical work f. transmission routing and associated equipment needs 3. Identification of site development needs 4. Evaluation of power purchase alternatives 5. Potential environmental and social impact studies and related mitigation 6. Detailed preliminary cost studies 7. Evaluation of possible multi-use of the facility 8. Determination of economic feasibility including possible financing costs 9. Preparation of a report to document feasibility findings Researchers should perform reconnaissance studies for at least six selected locations for project development, with the aim of performing feasibility studies on the three most promising sites. We anticipate that DOE would make a Go/ No-Go decision after Phase 1 based on the environmental performance, costs, and applicability of the proposed technology or design strategy. EERE welcomes input on the approach outlined. Specifically, we welcome feedback on the following questions: (1) Is the focus outlined above the optimal approach for supporting sustainable development of hydropower in undeveloped streams? If not, what improvements would you suggest? (2) Please share comments on other items not considered here that you believe EERE should address as it develops a strategy to advance new stream-reach development. sradovich on DSK3GMQ082PROD with NOTICES IV. Guidance for Submitting Documents DOE invites all interested parties to submit responses by not later than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on December 16, 2016. Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to HydroNextFOA@ ee.doe.gov as Microsoft Word (.docx) attachments to an email, and no more than 6 pages in length, 12 point font, 1 inch margins. Only electronic responses will be accepted. Respondents are requested to provide the following information at the start of their response to this RFI: • Company/institution name; • Company/institution contact; • Contact’s address, phone number, and email address. VerDate Sep<11>2014 16:29 Nov 08, 2016 Jkt 241001 Issued in Washington, DC on November 3, 2016. Jim Ahlgrimm Acting Director, Water Power Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy. [FR Doc. 2016–27054 Filed 11–8–16; 8:45 am] BILLING CODE 6450–01–P DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY Federal Energy Regulatory Commission [Project No. 2246–046] Yuba County Water Agency; Notice of Application Accepted for Filing, Soliciting Comments, Motions To Intervene, and Protests Take notice that the following hydroelectric application has been filed with the Commission and is available for public inspection: a. Types of Application: Amend license to re-develop recreation area. b. Project No.: 2246–046. c. Date Filed: September 6, 2016. d. Applicants: Yuba County Water Agency. e. Name of Projects: Yuba River Development Project. f. Location: New Bullards Bar Reservoir, Yuba County, California. g. Filed Pursuant to: 18 CFR 4.200. h. Applicant Contact: Mr. Curt Aikens, Yuba County Water Agency, 1220 F St., Marysville, CA 95901–4226, (530) 741–6278. i. FERC Contact: David Rudisail, (202) 502–6376, david.rudisail@ferc.gov. j. Deadline for filing comments, motions to intervene, protests, and recommendations is 30 days from the issuance date of this notice by the Commission. The Commission strongly encourages electronic filing. Please file motions to intervene, protests, comments, or recommendations using the Commission’s eFiling system at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ efiling.asp. Commenters can submit brief comments up to 6,000 characters, without prior registration, using the eComment system at http:// www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ ecomment.asp. You must include your name and contact information at the end of your comments. For assistance, please contact FERC Online Support at FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, (866) 208–3676 (toll free), or (202) 502–8659 (TTY). In lieu of electronic filing, please send a paper copy to: Secretary, Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, 888 First Street, NE., Washington, DC 20426. Please include the project number (P– 2246–046) on any comments, motions to PO 00000 Frm 00026 Fmt 4703 Sfmt 4703 78797 intervene, protests, or recommendations filed. k. Description of Request: Yuba County Water Agency proposes to redevelop the Cottage Creek Picnic Area which was destroyed by fire in August 2010. The new Cottage Creek Group Campground would remain within the construction footprint of the previous development and would be constructed in two phases. Only phase one is subject to approval at this time. Phase one would be completed within 1.5 years of approval and would be authorized under the existing license. Phase one would include: (1) Five double campsites with each consisting of a paved vehicle spur with two single vehicle spaces and two recreational vehicle camping spaces and a living space with one group-sized fire ring, two bear resistant food lockers, two picnic tables and two tent pads; (2) a host campsite with a paved vehicle spur and a septic hook-up with a holding tank; (3) a potable water system consisting of water hydrants within the campground and an underground distribution system that would connect to the existing recreation water system; (4) a two-unit vault restroom building; (5) a paved circulation road with vehicle barriers; (6) a multi-panel information sign; (7) a paved overflow parking area for nine single vehicles; and (8) trash facilities, including a dumpster and individual receptacles. l. Locations of the Application: A copy of the application is available for inspection and reproduction at the Commission’s Public Reference Room, located at 888 First Street NE., Room 2A, Washington, DC 20426, or by calling (202) 502–8371. This filing may also be viewed on the Commission’s Web site at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ efiling.asp. Enter the docket number excluding the last three digits in the docket number field to access the document. You may also register online at http://www.ferc.gov/docs-filing/ esubscription.asp to be notified via email of new filings and issuances related to this or other pending projects. For assistance, call 1–866–208–3676 or email FERCOnlineSupport@ferc.gov, for TTY, call (202) 502–8659. A copy is also available for inspection and reproduction at the address in item (h) above. m. Individuals desiring to be included on the Commission’s mailing list should so indicate by writing to the Secretary of the Commission. n. Comments, Protests, or Motions to Intervene: Anyone may submit comments, a protest, or a motion to intervene in accordance with the requirements of Rules of Practice and E:\FR\FM\09NON1.SGM 09NON1

Agencies

[Federal Register Volume 81, Number 217 (Wednesday, November 9, 2016)]
[Notices]
[Pages 78795-78797]
From the Federal Register Online via the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov]
[FR Doc No: 2016-27054]


=======================================================================
-----------------------------------------------------------------------

DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY

Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy


Challenges and Opportunities for Sustainable Development of 
Hydropower in Undeveloped Stream Reaches of the United States; Request 
for Information

AGENCY: Water Power Technologies Office, Office of Energy Efficiency 
and Renewable Energy, Department of Energy (DOE).

ACTION: Request for information (RFI).

-----------------------------------------------------------------------

SUMMARY: The Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO), within the 
Department of Energy (DOE) is issuing this request for information 
(RFI) to invite input from the public regarding challenges and 
opportunities associated with hydropower development in undeveloped 
stream-reaches. Through this RFI, the WPTO is also seeking input on the 
focus and structure of a potential funding opportunity to support 
research and development of advanced and/or non-traditional 
transformative hydropower technologies and project designs capable of 
avoiding or minimizing environmental and social effects of new cost-
competitive hydropower development in undeveloped stream-reaches of the 
United States.

DATES: Responses must be received no later than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on 
Friday, December 16, 2016.

ADDRESSES: Responses to this RFI must be submitted electronically to 
HydroNextFOA@ee.doe.gov as Microsoft Word (.docx) attachments to an 
email, and no more than 6 pages in length, 12 point font, 1 inch 
margins. It is recommended that attachments with file sizes exceeding 
25 MB be compressed (i.e., zipped) to ensure message delivery. Please 
include in the subject line ``Comments for RFI''. Only electronic 
responses will be accepted.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT: Questions may be directed to: Rajesh 
Dham, Water Power Technologies Office, U.S. Department of Energy, 1000 
Independence Avenue SW., Washington, DC 20585, Phone: (202) 287-6675, 
Email: Rajesh.Dham@ee.doe.gov.

SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: 

Table of Contents

I. Background
II. Purpose
III. Request for Information Categories and Questions
IV. Guidance for Submitting Documents

I. Background

    Through its HydroNEXT initiative, WPTO's Hydropower Program (the 
Program) invests in the development of innovative technologies that 
lower cost, improve performance, and promote environmental stewardship 
of hydropower development across three resource classes:

 Existing non-powered dams (NPD)
 Pumped storage hydropower (PSH)
 New stream-reach development (NSD)

    Under a Fiscal Year (FY) 2016 Funding Opportunity Announcement 
(FOA) DE-FOA-0001455 titled, ``Innovative Technologies to Advance Non-
Powered Dam and Pumped Storage Hydropower Development,'' the Program 
made federal funding available to research and develop innovative 
solutions for NPD and PSH development. In FY 2017, the Program seeks to 
overcome challenges associated with furthering the development of 
hydropower in new stream-reaches.
    Development of hydropower in new stream-reaches refers to new 
projects in stream segments and waterways that do not currently have 
hydroelectric facilities. New stream-reach development projects are 
subject to more scrutiny than projects for other hydropower resources 
(i.e. NPDs, refurbishments) because such development can have more 
extensive environmental and social effects, particularly if 
construction of a dam or diversion is required. Construction of 
barriers in a natural waterway can affect fish migration, channel 
geomorphology, sediment transport, habitat connectivity, water quality, 
and flow regimes. The unique nature of new stream-reach development can 
also add cost, time, and uncertainty to the development process. These 
factors have hindered the development of this resource in recent 
decades.
    To realize sustainable and responsible hydropower development and 
to protect the integrity of existing streams, the Program is seeking 
information regarding transformative and/or innovative hydropower 
technologies that reduce or eliminate environmental concerns and are 
financially viable.

II. Purpose

    The purpose of this RFI is to solicit feedback from industry, 
academia, research laboratories, government agencies, and other 
stakeholders on issues related to development of hydropower in new 
stream-reaches. EERE is specifically interested in information on the 
costs/benefits and environmental effects associated with such 
development, and possible solutions to address the related challenges. 
EERE is also seeking input on the focus and structure of a potential 
funding opportunity to support research and development of advanced 
and/or non-traditional transformative hydropower technologies and 
project designs capable of avoiding or minimizing environmental and 
social effects of new cost-competitive hydropower development in 
undeveloped stream-reaches of the United States. This is solely a 
request for information and not a Funding Opportunity Announcement 
(FOA); EERE is not accepting applications.

III. Request for Information Categories and Questions

A. Category 1: New Stream-Reach Development (NSD) Challenges and 
Opportunities

    To accelerate the deployment of sustainable and responsible 
hydropower in new stream-reaches while protecting their social and 
environmental value, EERE is seeking input on the main challenges and 
potential opportunities for developing this resource.
    Specifically, we welcome feedback on the following questions:
    (1) How can advances in technology more readily address 
environmental challenges associated with hydropower development in 
undeveloped streams?
    (2) What are the technical challenges associated with new stream-
reach

[[Page 78796]]

development? How can DOE help address these challenges?
    (3) How can modularization of power train and civil works 
components affect project costs? How can standardized equipment build 
familiarity and assist with regulatory review of proposed new stream-
reach development projects?
    (4) With recent advancements in additive manufacturing, it has 
become increasingly easy to embed sensors and other smart technology 
into equipment. How can this advancement be used to build smarter 
machines and change the way stakeholders address environmental 
concerns?
    (5) What other challenges is the hydropower community facing with 
regards to new stream-reach development? How can DOE help to address 
those challenges?

B. Category 2: Transformative Hydropower Innovations

    The DOE's 2016 Hydropower Vision analysis \1\ found that deployment 
of 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of new stream-reach development is possible by 
2050 based on a scenario in which technology advancements lower capital 
and operating costs, innovative market mechanisms increase revenue and 
lower financing costs, and environmental considerations are taken into 
account. Further, alternative scenarios explored in the Hydropower 
Vision analysis also showed new stream-reach development could increase 
by an additional 15.5 GW by 2050 if a substantial level of 
transformative technological innovation were developed to successfully 
address the cost and environmental considerations associated with new 
stream-reach development.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \1\ The 2016 Hydropower Vision analysis involved more than 50 
modeled scenarios, each examining the effects of key variables or 
combination of variables that influence the deployment of hydropower 
facilities in electricity market competition with other generation 
sources. http://energy.gov/eere/water/articles/hydropower-vision-new-chapter-america-s-1st-renewable-electricity-source.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    We are seeking input on the following questions related to this 
issue:
    (1) What type of transformative innovations (either in power train 
components or plant system designs) could hold the key to reducing or 
avoiding environmental effects typically associated with development of 
new stream-reaches?
    (2) How can Federal investments in research and development help 
increase benefits and reduce costs for new stream-reach development? 
What areas of investment would be most impactful?
    (3) Are other industries using technologies, equipment, or 
techniques that could be applied to hydropower to increase benefits 
and/or reduce new stream-reach development project costs, timelines, 
and environmental effects? Please provide examples.

C. Category 3: Potential Funding Opportunity

    EERE seeks input on the focus and structure of a potential funding 
opportunity to support the development of environmentally-sustainable 
hydropower development in new stream-reaches. EERE welcomes feedback on 
the approach outlined below.
    The objective of this potential research is to develop advanced 
and/or non-traditional transformative hydropower technologies and 
project designs capable of avoiding or minimizing environmental and 
social effects for new cost-competitive hydropower development in 
undeveloped stream-reaches of the United States. Potential projects 
should be capable of reducing the environmental and social effects of 
civil works and other disturbances resulting from the development of 
hydropower in undeveloped stream-reaches. Of particular interest are 
projects that do not require the use of a dam to create the head 
differential necessary to generate hydropower.
    Following a two-phase process, potential researchers should be able 
to demonstrate--through research, analysis, and engineering design--
that the proposed systems can meet the following metrics:

1. Environmental and Social Impact \2\
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

    \2\ Environmental and Social Impact refers to how construction 
and operation of a project affects geomorphology, water quality, and 
the function of streams in supporting social objectives (e.g., 
recreation) and species reproduction.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------

2. Technical Feasibility
3. Cost Competitiveness
Phase 1 (12 Months)
    Research the available hydropower potential and develop innovative 
and transformative design strategies that include ways to increase head 
for cost-competitive and environmentally sustainable hydropower 
development. Such designs should include the following features:
     Transformative diversionary structures without the use of 
a solid dam: examples include side intakes or side-channel intakes and 
headrace canals, and trench weirs with suitable water conveyance 
systems
     Alternative water conveyance systems using innovative 
technologies (such as advanced tunneling methods, intakes, alternative 
pipe materials and manufacturing, and tailrace systems) to increase 
power density and reduce component and system costs
     Use of low impact, modular, and scalable hydropower 
technologies as applicable to achieve cost reductions
    Researchers should consider multipurpose use of the hydropower 
facility that may help to reduce the cost allocation to hydropower 
development.
    Further, awardees will perform desktop studies using available data 
to identify probable locations on undeveloped stream-reaches for 
potential application of their innovative/transformational design 
strategies. These studies will help to identify the most favorable 
sites and inform reconnaissance and feasibility studies in Phase 2.
Phase 2 (12-18 Months)
    With respect to the most favorable sites identified in Phase I, 
researchers should perform: (A) Reconnaissance studies, and (B) 
Feasibility studies.
A. Reconnaissance Studies
    Reconnaissance studies are performed with the aim of determining if 
further feasibility studies are warranted. These studies should:
1. Scope the extent of study necessary for hydropower site development 
and preliminary economic analysis
2. Develop a preliminary layout (plan and cross-section)
3. Assess the head and flow (site hydrology)
4. Determine the type of turbine-generator for the head and flow for 
the purpose of obtaining typical equipment costs
5. Estimate preliminary power potential
6. Evaluate the transmission requirements at a high level for power 
take-off
7. Assess potential environmental and social impacts and related 
mitigation
8. Develop a high level cost estimate
9. Estimate potential revenue streams
10. Determine economic feasibility including possible financing costs
11. Include a report to document reconnaissance findings
B. Feasibility Studies
    Feasibility studies are performed with the aim of determining if an 
investment commitment should be made without actual ground disturbance 
and the requirement of permit(s). These studies will include the 
following activities:

1. A firm-up of the project layout to include alternate sites based on 
actual preliminary site investigations
2. Confirmation of the project parameters such as:

[[Page 78797]]

    a. Head
    b. flow duration and unit flow
    c. number and type of units
    d. installed capacity
    e. water conductor system and ancillary equipment and other 
physical work
    f. transmission routing and associated equipment needs
3. Identification of site development needs
4. Evaluation of power purchase alternatives
5. Potential environmental and social impact studies and related 
mitigation
6. Detailed preliminary cost studies
7. Evaluation of possible multi-use of the facility
8. Determination of economic feasibility including possible financing 
costs
9. Preparation of a report to document feasibility findings

    Researchers should perform reconnaissance studies for at least six 
selected locations for project development, with the aim of performing 
feasibility studies on the three most promising sites. We anticipate 
that DOE would make a Go/No-Go decision after Phase 1 based on the 
environmental performance, costs, and applicability of the proposed 
technology or design strategy.
    EERE welcomes input on the approach outlined. Specifically, we 
welcome feedback on the following questions:
    (1) Is the focus outlined above the optimal approach for supporting 
sustainable development of hydropower in undeveloped streams? If not, 
what improvements would you suggest?
    (2) Please share comments on other items not considered here that 
you believe EERE should address as it develops a strategy to advance 
new stream-reach development.

IV. Guidance for Submitting Documents

    DOE invites all interested parties to submit responses by not later 
than 5:00 p.m. (ET) on December 16, 2016. Responses to this RFI must be 
submitted electronically to HydroNextFOA@ee.doe.gov as Microsoft Word 
(.docx) attachments to an email, and no more than 6 pages in length, 12 
point font, 1 inch margins. Only electronic responses will be accepted.
    Respondents are requested to provide the following information at 
the start of their response to this RFI:
     Company/institution name;
     Company/institution contact;
     Contact's address, phone number, and email address.

    Issued in Washington, DC on November 3, 2016.
Jim Ahlgrimm
Acting Director, Water Power Technologies Office, Office of Energy 
Efficiency and Renewable Energy.
[FR Doc. 2016-27054 Filed 11-8-16; 8:45 am]
 BILLING CODE 6450-01-P