The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) invites you to share your ideas to reduce the time, cost, and risk from concept to commissioning, excluding permitting, for pumped-storage hydropower (PSH). Finalists will receive vouchers for up to 50 hours of support from one of four DOE national laboratories to prepare for a pitch contest which will result in up to 3 winners and up to $550,000 of combined cash prizes and voucher support.
The Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time (FAST) Commissioning for Pumped-Storage Hydropower Prize aims to attract ideas to reduce the time, cost, and risk required to commission PSH projects. This is the first prize of its kind and is structured to support anyone with a great idea and the motivation to develop their idea into a full business concept.
Today’s electricity system is changing rapidly and hydropower and PSH have an essential role in contributing to the resilience, reliability, and affordability of the U.S. power system. PSH is by far the largest source of energy storage on the grid, and it will play a key role in supporting increased integration of variable generation resources. But large capital investments and long lead times for PSH commissioning are deterrents to would-be developers and utilities.
The goal of the prize is to catalyze new solutions, designs, and strategies to accelerate PSH development by reducing the time, cost and risk to commission PSH. Ideas could include innovative PSH ideas, new layouts, creative construction management, improved construction equipment, application of advanced manufacturing, or standardization of equipment.
Yes, but it’s quick and easy. Just click the “Accept Challenge” button on this page and follow the instructions to complete your registration. All you need to provide is your name and email address.
Unfortunately, employees of a national laboratory are not allowed to compete in any prize contest in this program.
Eligibility is restricted to:
“(a) citizens or permanent residents of the United States; and (b) private or non-federal public entities, such as townships, tribes, corporations, or other organizations that are incorporated in and maintain a primary place of business in the United States. DOE employees, employees of sponsoring organizations, members of their immediate families (spouses, children, siblings, parents), and persons living in the same household as such persons, whether or not related, are not eligible to participate in this Prize. Federal entities and federal employees, acting within the scope of their employment, are also not eligible to participate in any portion of this Prize. Employees of an organization that co-sponsors this program are not eligible to participate in any prize contest in this program. National laboratory employees are also not eligible to participate in any prize contest in this program.”
This restriction applies to the entity receiving the prize funds. It is beyond the scope of DOE’s concern whether eligible participants consult with other parties on this challenge or other matters. Any individual or organization that seeks to communicate with other parties interested in this prize is welcome to do so on the community page.
No, if you are a contest winner you are receiving the prize for meeting or exceeding the contest goals.
The FAST Prize is funded by the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office and administered and executed by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory.
Yes. We encourage you to promote your concept to universities, hydropower and pumped-storage hydropower industries, and other technical outlets.
Yes, you may submit a concept which addresses multiple topic areas.
No, concepts which solely address or partially include the permitting and licensing process for PSH will not be considered for this prize.
All submissions that you wish to protect from public disclosure must be marked according to the instructions in Appendix A, Section 11 of the FAST Rules and Requirements. Unmarked or improperly marked submissions will be deemed to have been provided with unlimited rights and may be used in any manner and for any purpose whatsoever.
If you have a question not answered in the FAQ, we recommend that you post it in the Forum where someone will respond to you. This way, others who may have the same question will be able to see it.
You may also contact us directly at FAST@nrel.gov