The U.S. announced Tuesday it is allocating up to $32 million in funds to modernize the existing hydropower infrastructure in the country.
With the stimulus package funds, the government through the Department of Energy will support deployment of turbines, and control technologies to increase power generation and environmental stewardship at existing non-Federal hydroelectric facilities.
â€œThereâ€™s no one solution to the energy crisis, but hydropower is clearly part of the solution and represents a major opportunity to create more clean energy jobs,â€ said Energy secretary Steven Chu in a statement Tuesday.
The funding will be given for projects to deploy hydropower upgrades at non-federal facilities with large or small capacity with existing or advanced technologies. Projects will begin in 2010.
Facilities with generation capacity of 50 MW or less are considered small and those beyond that figure are of large capacity, according to a standard from the DOE.
Hydroelectric power generation in the U.S. represents 5.8 percent of the nationâ€™s total power generation, according to 2007 data from the Energy Information Administration. Water is the leading renewable energy source used by electric utilities to generate power, according to the agency but it also has limitations and environmental impact.