Sponsor Deadline
Posted: 3/22/2023

American Made Challenges -- Hydropower Collegiate Competition (HCC)

Hydropower—energy created from fresh, moving water—is the world's oldest form of renewable energy. Throughout human history, we have used the power of rivers and streams to produce flour, lumber, paper, textiles, and metal products. Today, we still use water to generate clean, affordable electricity.

The hydropower industry is critical to the Biden Administration's goal of achieving a carbon pollution-free power sector by 2035. Hydropower already plays an important role in our power system—it provides 37% of total U.S. renewable electricity generation and 93% of grid-scale energy storage—and yet it still has untapped potential and significant opportunity for growth. However, this growth can only be realized with further innovation and a new generation of skilled workers to support this clean energy transition.

To pave the way for the next generation of workers to start their careers in the hydropower and renewable energy industries, U.S. Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office and National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), in partnership with the Hydropower Foundationestablished the Hydropower Collegiate Competition (HCC) in 2022. The HCC calls on interdisciplinary teams of undergraduate and graduate students from a variety of academic programs to offer unique solutions to complex hydropower challenges.

By participating in the HCC, students gain industry experience, valuable exposure to hydropower career pathways, and greater knowledge of hydropower’s potential to contribute to a clean energy future.

Deadline: April 24, 2023

Eligibility Requirements

Teams must meet the following criteria to be eligible:

  • Teams may consist of a combination of postsecondary, undergraduate, and graduate students, but must be at least 50% postsecondary and/or undergraduates.
  • Both U.S. and non-U.S. institutions are welcome to apply and participate.
  • Non-U.S. institutions are not eligible to receive cash prize funding.
  • In a team with students from U.S. and non-U.S. institutions, the lead institution must be a U.S. academic institution accredited by the U.S. Department of Education to be eligible for cash prize funding.

Teams should strive to include a diverse range of academic disciplines, including but not limited to:

  • Engineering
  • Business
  • Marketing
  • Communications
  • Environmental and Public Policy
  • Social Sciences

Teams should also strive to include in their teams individuals from groups historically underrepresented in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.