Cost Data Collection and Modeling for Hydropower

The penstock for a hydropower plant.

The Cost Data Collection and Modeling for Hydropower project (HCM project) encompasses data collection and modeling and analysis of the costs and performance of hydropower plants in U.S. markets. Its primary objective is to produce the tools and insights that allow the Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) to effectively prioritize its hydropower R&D portfolio using data-driven and evidence-based rationales.

However, the project also meets a series of secondary objectives, which include providing unbiased cost data and analyses to support policymakers, improving modeling inputs for the broader research community (such as the Energy Information Administration [EIA]), and potentially being of benefit to small developers for better screening and characterization of hydropower development opportunities. These efforts focus on the estimation and modeling of development costs (e.g., construction, licensing, project development) as well as participation in and contribution of analysis products to industry benchmarking forums such as the Electric Utility Cost Group (EUCG) to improve understanding of the cost dynamics of operating and maintaining the existing fleet.