American-Made Challenges

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FAST Commissioning for Pumped-Storage Hydropower Prize

FAST Commissioning for Pumped-Storage Hydropower Prize

For next-generation pumped-storage hydropower development and the encouragement of exploration for new use cases of PSH.
stage:
Grand Prize Winners Voucher Support
prize:
Up to 3 winners and up to $550k of combined cash prizes & voucher support
Overview

Challenge Overview

FAST Commissioning for Pumped-Storage Hydropower Prize

 

Furthering Advancements to Shorten Time (FAST) to Commissioning

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.

Guidelines
Timeline
Updates 7

Challenge Updates

FAST Grand Prize Winners Announced!

Oct. 24, 2019, 8:25 a.m. PDT by Tessa Greco

Congratulations to the four grand prize winners, who received up to $550,000 in vouchers and cash prizes. They are:

 

  1. Reducing PSH Excavation Duration, Cost, & Risk – Tracy Livingston and Thomas Conroy, Team Livingston, combined excavation equipment modifications and process optimizations to achieve up to 50% reduction in excavation timelines.
  2. Use of Modern TBMs for Underground Pumped Storage – Doug Spaulding, Nelson Energy and Golder Associates, proposed use of tunnel boring machines for underground excavation, which can decrease excavation time by 50% and reduce costs.
  3. Accelerating PSH Construction with Steel Dams – Gordon Wittmeyer, Southwest Research Institute, presented a modular steel concept for dams that cuts costs by one-third and cuts construction schedules in half.
  4. Modular Closed-Loop Scalable Pump Storage Hydro – Tom Eldredge and Hector Medina, Liberty University, presented a modular closed-loop, scalable PSH system with a capacity range of 1–10 megawatt, adaptable to sites without natural bodies of water.

Watch the FAST Finalists Compete in the Pitch Contest on October 7

Oct. 4, 2019, 1 p.m. PDT by Tessa Greco
We invite all of our followers to tune in to the FAST Prize Grand Finale on Monday, October 7, from 12-6pm ET. The FAST Pitch Contest will feature 15-minute presentations from each of our 9 finalists and will be available via livestream on the American Made Challenges twitter feed (@AMCprizes): https://twitter.com/AMCprizes. Up to 3 Grand Prize Winners will be announced around 6pm ET and will receive their share of $550k in cash and in-kind prizes.

Concept Stage Winner Announcement

July 24, 2019, 10:23 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Winners of the FAST Prize were announced yesterday at the HydroVision conference in Portland, OR. We’d like to congratulate our nine winners and thank everyone who submitted to the contest! The judges had a very difficult task of selecting winners from the extremely well qualified and innovative pool of submissions that we received. Thank you so much to everyone who participated in the first stage of the prize! We invite everyone to continue to follow the prize and participate on the HeroX forums.  

You can see the winners for yourself and learn more about the announcement in the NREL Press Release.


FAST Prize status update

July 11, 2019, 7:58 a.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Thank you for your continued patience as we choose our finalists. We’re taking a bit more time to announce the finalists publicly but expect a notice on July 23. In the meantime, please reach out with any questions.

-The FAST Prize Team


Judging Update - Winner Announcement on July 10

July 1, 2019, 4:12 p.m. PDT by NREL Challenge

Hi Innovators,

Thanks so much for your patience! We’ve decided to spend a little extra time reviewing the exceptional proposals you’ve all submitted, so please hold tight! We’ll be announcing the winners July 10, and don’t worry: it’ll be worth the wait.

In the meantime, post any questions you have on the forum, and keep working to gather support for your entry.

-The FAST Prize Team


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