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Water Power Technologies Office launches  workforce development competitions

April 19, 2022 9:01 am Published by

WPTO announces several opportunities, seeks critical energy organizations to host fellows

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) recently launched a number of new competitions to spur workforce development in hydropower and marine energy.

The inaugural Hydropower Collegiate Competition (HCC) and fourth annual Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC) are aimed at inspiring and helping to build the workforce to lead the hydropower and marine energy industries. These competitions also are important resources needed to achieve the Biden administration’s goals of a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.

The workforce development competitions  include:

The Hydropower Collegiate Competition-During its first year, the HCC will call on interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of academic programs to offer unique solutions to complex hydropower challenges. Teams will design a concept to solve leading hydropower challenges, participate in two contests – the Connection Creation Contest and the Case Study Contest – and present their work at Waterpower Week in Spring 2023 or a similar industry event. Competitors (teams) will receive $10,000 cash to support their efforts throughout the competition year. The deadline to apply is May 8, 2022.

The Marine Energy Collegiate Competition: Powering the Blue Economy-The MECC is designed to challenge interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students to offer unique solutions to the marine energy industry that can play a vital role in powering the blue economy. It will bring together diverse groups of students from multiple disciplines to explore opportunities for marine energy technologies to benefit other existing maritime industries via real-world concept development experiences. The deadline to apply is May 8, 2022.

WPTO is also seeking applications for the new DOE Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship. Recent graduates and energy professionals are encouraged to apply to DOE’s exciting new program that sends qualified for to spend one to two years working at critical energy organizations to advance clean energy solutions. Fellows will get hands on experience working at eligible host organizations, which include electric public utility commissions, municipal and cooperative utilities, and grid operators, such as regional transmission organizations or independent system operators. Applications for the Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship are due May 6, 2022. Applications also are open for critical energy organizations, such as electric public utility commissions, municipal and cooperative utilities, regional transmission organizations and independent system operators, to apply to host a fellow as part of DOE’s Clean Energy Innovator Fellowship. Hosts will be expected to identify projects critical to advancing decarbonization and that also ensure energy affordability and grid reliability during the clean energy transition. Projects may address topics including, but not limited to, grid modernization, equitable and affordable access to clean energy and energy efficiency, integration of electric vehicles and building electrification, resilience planning, interconnection, and rate design. Applications are due May 6. 

Learn more about WPTO’s workforce development initiatives.

Read about Sandia’s Water Power program.