Hydropower has a storied history in the United States and is among the largest sources of renewable energy generation in the country. Though the pace of building new projects has slowed over the past decade, significant growth opportunities remain for developing small hydropower, both for new in-stream development and via existing water infrastructure retrofits.
Can we develop low-cost, modular, replicable hydropower facilities that preserve or enhance river function?
Yes, the Standard Modular Hydropower (SMH) project takes multiple research approaches for promoting standard modular hydropower technology. The project defines standardization, modularity, and environmental compatibility as three enabling principles of a low-cost, environmentally compatible hydropower growth strategy.
This approach can transform the existing development paradigm by designing new projects that generate renewable energy at low cost while preserving and enhancing stream functionality.
The Standard Modular Hydropower (SMH) hypothesis is that new small hydropower development can be realized by shifting conventional thinking in four key areas:
Together, these elements strike a new path toward environmentally compatible, low cost hydropower project development.
More information on the SMH philosophy, research activities, and expected outcomes are provided on the Research page.