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H2Os Prize - Phase 4

Optimize hydropower operations to better complement variable renewable energy resources, like wind and solar, to help power the grid!

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Summary

Overview

The Hydropower Operations Optimization (H2Os) Prize was launched in 2022, supported by the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) as part of the Hydropower and Water Innovation for a Resilient Electricity System (HydroWIRES) Initiative. The prize encourages innovators to tackle the challenge of optimizing the value of hydropower in the grid while considering realistic water management requirements.

Challenge Overview

WPTO launched the Hydropower Operations Optimization (H2Os) Prize to encourage the development of new solutions that can help advance hydropower’s contribution to the grid. 

The prize originally consisted of three phases, with each phase building in problem complexity. WPTO is now expanding the competition to include a fourth phase to allow participants to compete, present, and network in person to advance their solutions to near-term challenges in optimizing the value of hydropower in the grid. 

As in the first three phases of the H2Os prize, Phase 4 competitors will act as a hydropower manager responsible for a water system consisting of a river network connecting one or more hydropower-producing reservoirs. In this final phase of the competition, competitors will create a reservoir release schedule for all reservoirs in a given system. Successful schedules will avoid violating water system constraints and will endeavor to generate power when it is most economically and environmentally beneficial. 

This final phase will take place in person at the Clean Currents Conference in Cincinnati, Ohio, October 10–13, 2023. Only the first 10 registrants will be accepted to participate in the in-person competition. Competitors must have previously registered for any one of the first three phases to be eligible and meet all eligibility requirements outlined in Section 5.7 in the rules document. Upon registration, teams must enter their Topcoder handle to prove their prior registration. As a part of the registration process, competitors will be required to submit a 150-word abstract outlining their proposed solution.

Prize Background

As the U.S. grid evolves and integrates more variable resources, like wind and solar, hydropower management can be adapted to support changing grid conditions and enhance the reliability and resiliency of the grid. WPTO invites contributions from current hydropower professionals and new innovators alike. WPTO hopes this prize will allow a diverse group of competitors from multidisciplinary backgrounds to put their expertise in machine learning, data science, and optimization to work to help solve near-term challenges in optimizing the value of hydropower on the grid. By increasing hydropower’s ability to operate flexibly and integrate variable energy resources, solutions funded by this competition support the administration’s goal of a decarbonized power sector by 2035.

As part of the HydroWIRES Initiative, the H2Os Prize encourages innovators to leverage advanced modeling, data analytics, and machine learning capabilities to develop solutions that can help hydropower systems coordinate with existing grid scheduling practices and offer the full set of hydropower resource capabilities without negatively impacting the water system.


Guidelines

Please review the official rules for the complete application process and instructions for competing.

If you want to receive updates on the prize or have any questions, please subscribe by using the contact feature on the HeroX platform or .

Intellectual Property

Innovator will retain all intellectual property rights to their technology.

Timeline
Forum15
Teams64
Resources
FAQ