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US DoE announces $72 million to upgrade 46 hydroelectric projects

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The US Department of Energy has announced major investments in the country's hydroelectric sector, with funding to upgrade 46 projects across 19 states.

In a release, the DoE said the projects, selected by the Grid Deployment Office, would receive up to $71.5 million in Hydroelectric Efficiency Improvement Incentive payments.

Jennifer Granholm, US Secretary of Energy, commented: "Thanks to the President's Investing in America agenda, we are maintaining and expanding our hydropower fleets, helping reduce costs of operation and ensuring American workers continue to drive the nation's clean energy transition."

The selected projects can be found in California, Colorado, Connecticut, Georgia, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, and West Virginia, the release said. (see full list)

Reports say this is the DoE's largest investment in hydroelectric facilities. The projects are projected to attract $468 million in combined federal and private investment, boosting the sector.

Hydropower accounts for 27 percent of US renewable energy generation and 93 percent of the country's utility-scale energy storage. Improved efficiency at the projects will help to further these contributions. The selected facilities have an average age of 75 years, and upgrades are expected to further boost their lifespan and extend operations. 

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