Working together

Innovation to meet 21st century needs

Through continued engagement with a dedicated community of small hydropower stakeholders, SMH collaborative research and development will address opportunities, risks, and challenges associated with small hydropower development and the realization of standard modular technologies.

How will SMH research and development engage the community and stakeholders?

ORNL and DOE intend to maintain a highly collaborative R&D space that drives the small hydropower stakeholder community towards a consensus on SMH technology and facility design criteria while generating innovative ideas and acceptance criteria for future small hydropower development. Sustained engagement with stakeholders across the hydropower development community will be pivotal in ensuring site assessment tools and SMH technologies evolve from concept to practical testing and usage.

At present, the two pathways for engagement and collaboration with ORNL on the SMH project include industry partnerships and publication review and comment. Future opportunities will include workshops, webinars, tool and protocol development, and continued partnerships to develop and advance SMH technologies.

Industry Partners

ORNL is seeking collaboration with industry partners to develop frameworks and tools for demonstrating and advancing SMH technologies. Mechanisms for collaboration and technology transfer include but will not be limited to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Interagency Agreements (IAAs), workshops, and other elicitation.

If you or your business would like to learn more about the SMH project and potential partnership opportunities with ORNL, please Contact Us.

Active Engagement Activities:

  • ORNL is partnering with Amjet Turbine Systems LLC to 3D print and test lightweight composite generation modules. This partnership provides access to facilities (including the Manufacturing Demonstration Facility) and expertise that can rapidly advance emerging modular generation technologies at cost-competitive rates.
  • Stay tuned for more information on whom we are working with.

Publication feedback

ORNL is seeking review and public comment on the structure and content of three foundational SMH publications: 1) A Multi-Year Plan for Research, Development, and Prototype Testing of Standard Modular Hydropower Technology, 2) Exemplary Design Envelope Specification for Standard Modular Hydropower Technology, and 3) Simulation and Modeling Capability for Standard Modular Hydropower Technology. These documents are available on the Publications page.

Please Contact Us to discuss how you can provide feedback on these important documents. 


  • July 18, 2017: Upper Mississippi River Hydroelectric Power Workshop in Moline, IL (click here to visit the workshop website)
    • Adam Witt presented “Modularity and Environmental Design for Low-Head Waterways” at a workshop hosted by River Action. The workshop brought together the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, state departments of natural resources, project developers, dam owners, energy utilities, clean energy and environmental groups, engineers, public works, municipal and city officials, and national labs to explore opportunities for hydropower in the Upper Mississippi River watershed.
  • June 27-30, 2017: HydroVision International in Denver, CO
    • Adam Witt, Mark Bevelhimer, and Brennan Smith presented SMH research and participated in panel discussions at the 2017 HydroVision conference in Denver, CO. The SMH team won first place, technical paper of the year in the Market Trends and Strategies category for their paper “How Standard Modular Hydropower can Enhance the Environmental, Economic and Social Benefits of New Small Hydropower Development” by Adam Witt, Miles Mobley, Scott DeNeale, Mark Bevelheimer and Brennan Smith, Oak Ridge National Laboratory; and Alisha Fernandez-McKeown, McKeown and Associates LLC.
  • June 14-15, 2017: SMH Potential Partnership Workshop for Technology Acceleration in Oak Ridge, TN
    • In support of the Department of Energy (DOE) funded Standard Modular Hydropower (SMH) Technology Acceleration project, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) staff convened with five small hydropower technology entrepreneurs on June 14 and 15, 2017 to discuss gaps, challenges, and opportunities for small modular hydropower development (click here to read the Workshop Summary Report). The workshop discussed the SMH research vision and identified future pathways for mutually beneficial collaboration that leverages ORNL expertise and entrepreneurial industry experience. The goal is to advance standardized, scalable, modular hydropower technologies with sustained and open dialogue among diverse stakeholder groups. For further interest or questions, please Contact Us

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy