Working together

Innovation to meet 21st century needs

Through continued engagement with a dedicated community of small hydropower stakeholders, SMH collaborative research and development will address opportunities, risks, and challenges associated with small hydropower development and the realization of standard modular technologies.

How will SMH research and development engage the community and stakeholders?

ORNL and DOE intend to maintain a highly collaborative R&D space that drives the small hydropower stakeholder community towards a consensus on SMH technology and facility design criteria while generating innovative ideas and acceptance criteria for future small hydropower development. Sustained engagement with stakeholders across the hydropower development community will be pivotal in ensuring site assessment tools and SMH technologies evolve from concept to practical testing and usage.

At present, the two pathways for engagement and collaboration with ORNL on the SMH project include industry partnerships and publication review and comment. Future opportunities will include workshops, webinars, tool and protocol development, and continued partnerships to develop and advance SMH technologies.

Industry Partners

ORNL is seeking collaboration with industry partners to develop frameworks and tools for demonstrating and advancing SMH technologies. Mechanisms for collaboration and technology transfer include but will not be limited to Funding Opportunity Announcements (FOAs), Cooperative Research and Development Agreements (CRADAs), Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) and Interagency Agreements (IAAs), workshops, and other elicitation.

In addition, the US Department of Energy has recently communicated a Funding Opportunity Announcement, which will offer up to two funding awards for the development of innovative standard modular hydropower facility designs that are cost efficient, scalable, provide timely passage of fish, sediment, and recreational craft, and offer additional co-benefits beyond energy generation (e.g. water quality enhancement, invasive species control, hydrologic restoration, recreation opportunities, etc.).

If you or your business would like to learn more about the SMH project and potential partnership opportunities with ORNL, please Contact Us.

Active Engagement Activities:

  • Stay tuned for more information on whom we are working with.

Publication feedback

ORNL is seeking review and public comment on the structure and content of three foundational SMH publications: 1) A Multi-Year Plan for Research, Development, and Prototype Testing of Standard Modular Hydropower Technology, 2) Exemplary Design Envelope Specification for Standard Modular Hydropower Technology, and 3) Simulation and Modeling Capability for Standard Modular Hydropower Technology. These documents are available on the Publications page.

Please Contact Us to discuss how you can provide feedback on these important documents. 


  • September 6, 2018: SMH Resources Webinar
    • The SMH project team provided an overview and demonstration of two guidelines and tools for SMH: the Exemplary Design Envelope Specification (EDES), a framework for technology-neutral conceptual design of modular hydropower technology, and SMH Explorer, a tool conducting user-guided, energy-water-environment-module data analysis and inquiries in support of SMH development.  More details about the webinar can be found on the SMH Webinar webpage.
  • June 26-28, 2018: HydroVision International in Charlotte, NC
    • Adam Witt moderated a panel session titled “Research and Development Speed Dating – Emerging Tools and Technologies”.   The interactive panel session offered attendees a fast-paced view of the latest tools, software, and technologies being developed for the hydropower community.  The panel included a demonstration of SMH Explorer, the latest SMH research product.
  • April 30 – May 2, 2018: NHA Waterpower Week
    • Adam Witt presented an update on the SMH project during a panel session titled “What the DOE Waterpower Program Is Doing for You”.

Oak Ridge National Laboratory is managed by UT-Battelle for the Department of Energy