Help support the foundations that enable tomorrow’s hydropower development!
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) launched the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize to encourage the development of new ideas to cut the costs, timelines, and risks associated with hydropower development. This competition challenged innovators to come up with new solutions to support hydropower project development by starting at square one—the foundation.
In April 2021, two teams were selected as winners to share a cash pool of $75,000.
Like roots to a tree, geotechnical foundations provide structural support to a hydropower facility, and must be developed to ensure stability, safety, and performance for decades. While foundations are central to dam safety, challenges in their design and construction can lead to major project delays and cost overruns, potentially jeopardizing a project’s success.
Through the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize, WPTO solicited solutions to address key challenges faced in one or more of the three foundation development phases:
Targeting the most promising opportunities for future hydropower growth, the prize sought solutions based on:
Please note that superstructures, including dams, were excluded from the prize scope.
Groundbreaking Hydro was designed to:
Innovators were encouraged to derive their solutions from within the hydropower industry or leverage lessons learned from a diverse set of fields, from maritime construction to advanced manufacturing, offshore wind, transportation, residential and commercial building industries, and beyond to develop transformative methods or technologies that can be applied to hydropower projects.
Two teams, were chosen as winners of the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize and will share a cash prize pool of $75,000.
|Groundbreaking Prize||Terra-Modulor||GZA GeoEnvironmental Inc and Littoral Power Systems|
|Innovator Prize||WaterJet Drill with a Deep Array of Anchor Cables Concept||Team Chemventive|
While these solutions weren’t chosen, we applaud the vision that so many teams put forth during the prize. Learn more about these teams and their ideas below.
|entry title (listed alphabetically)||team||video|
|ColdFeat Adaptive Hydropower Foundations||Clay Koplin|
|Dam Cost Reduction Solution||Brian Kalet|
|ECC Bendable Concreate with sugarcane bagasse ash||estinamir|
|Floating Drum Turbine||Shahriar Najafian|
|Full Metal Beavers- Team 1||Abtahee Safeen|
|Gravity water flow water turbines for electricity||Wasif's Team|
|GVvFES - Swirling Solutions||Ron Bingaman's Team|
|Hydraulic Capsules and Slurry for Dam Foundations||Baha Abulnaga Team|
|Hydraulics||Kelly Moti's Team|
|Hydroelectric Generating System||Gene Kasten|
|Kat-Osci foundation design for Low Head Layout||Zlaya's Team|
|Let fish go upstream and return to their hometown||Baomin Shen|
|Metabolic Studio LA Noria Project||Cesar Estrada's Team|
|Modular Foundation-less Plug and Play Hydro Plant||Guru Rathod|
|Modular Hydro Plant without Dam on River||Guru Rathod|
|NuSTREEM's NuContainer Saves Time and Money||NuSTREEM's Team|
|OFF SHORE HYDRO ENERGY & Desalination SYSTEMS||Walter Glover|
|Portable desalination plant||MOSTAFA DAMAVANDI|
|Sensing Technology Reduce Construction Time/Cost||Remote Sensing Team|
|Small Hydro Risk Reduction Method||Gary Boring|
|Sustainable utility scale hydropower without dams||Joseph Santos's Team|
|Tidal wave power and energy storage||Glenn Haines's Team|
|Titan Hydroelectric System||Rick Navarro's Team|
|WEG generates hydro-electricity for Windsor Castle||Jack Kurz|
Sign up for updates on our HeroX challenge page.
Innovators, visionaries, or enthusiasts from across a variety of industries are encouraged to join the Groundbreaking Hydro Prize community and find like-minded collaborators. Help us build a better base from which tomorrow’s hydropower can thrive. Contact email@example.com with your industry feedback, questions and ideas!
Are you a thinker, entrepreneur, or potential partner? Anyone with an innovative idea can participate in the American-Made Challenges.