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Section 247: Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives

Open Date:


Close Date:


Upcoming Milestones:

Eligible Recipients:

Program Purpose:

  • Energy Infrastructure

Reserved for Energy



Grid Deployment Office (GDO)

Funded by:

U.S. Department of Energy


One of three BIL-supported programs created through EPAct and administered by DOE’s Grid Deployment Office, the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives (BIL provision 40333 and EPAct section 247) was created to maintain and enhance hydroelectric facilities to ensure generators continue to provide clean, affordable electricity, while integrating renewable energy resources such as wind and solar, improving dam safety, and reducing environmental impacts.

Hydropower facilities can potentially receive incentive payments for improvements in the following areas:

Grid Resilience efforts to:

Hydropower facilities can receive incentive payments to:

  • Adapt more quickly to changing grid conditions.
  • Provide ancillary services, including black-start capabilities, voltage support, and spinning reserves.
  • Help integrate variable sources of electricity generation.
  • Manage accumulated reservoir sediments.

Qualified pumped storage hydropower facilities are also eligible to apply under Section 247. Qualified hydroelectric facilities that make capital improvements related to the addition of energy storage such as reservoir capacity, pumped storage hydropower, and batteries may be eligible to receive an incentive payment.

Dam Safety efforts to:

  • Maintain or upgrade spillways or other appurtenant structures.
  • Make dam stability improvements, including erosion repair and enhanced seepage controls.
  • Upgrade or replace floodgates or natural infrastructure restoration or protection to improve flood risk reduction.

Environmental Improvements efforts to:

  • Add or improve safe and effective fish passage.
  • Improve the quality of water retained or released by a qualified hydroelectric facility.
  • Promote downstream sediment transport processes and habitat maintenance.
  • Improve recreation access to a project’s vicinity.

For purposes of the Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives (BIL provision 40333 and EPAct section 247) a qualified hydroelectric facility must be:

  • Licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, or is a hydroelectric project constructed, operated, or maintained pursuant to a permit or valid existing right-of-way granted prior to June 10, 1920, or a license granted pursuant to the Federal Power Act (16 U.S.C. 791a et seq.);
  • Placed into service before November 15, 2021;
  • In compliance with all applicable Federal, Tribal, and State requirements, or would be brought into compliance with these requirements as a result of the capital improvements carried out using an incentive payment under this section.

The application guidance describes the application process and the information necessary for the Secretary of Energy to make incentive payments to owners and authorized operators of qualified hydroelectric facilities pursuant to Section 247 of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct 2005), Maintaining and Enhancing Hydroelectricity Incentives, as amended by Section 40333 of the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act of 2021 (IIJA), Pub. L. No. 117-58.

To be eligible to file a full application, prospective applicants must have filed a Letter of Intent by June 22, 2023. Failure to file an LOI or application by the DOE-established deadline for the LOI phase or full application phase shall disqualify the owner or authorized operator from eligibility for an incentive payment in that application period.

Related Resources

Additional information is available on the Resources page.
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