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About Us | Waterpower

Why Water Power?

With millions of miles of natural waterways across the US, water power is a readily available and consistent source of renewable energy. Already accounting for almost 7 percent of total electricity generation, water power is uniquely capable of filling in the gaps between traditional electricity sources and other intermittent renewable sources such as wind and sun. Water power can also be stored and, in fact, is the largest source of utility-scale energy storage in the country. As a result, water power can play a crucial role in balancing the needs of a more reliable and sustainable electric power grid with that of a thriving and sustainable environment.

Our Mission

ORNL will enhance and accelerate the contributions of water power in facilitating more reliable, resilient, sustainable and affordable electric power sources, infrastructure, and systems.

Research & Development

Our research focuses on reducing costs and improving performance of existing hydropower facilities and accelerating advances in new, sustainable water power technologies. ORNL’s strengths in data analytics, materials science, and environmental science provide a full complement of resources. 


Program Manager, Water Power Program
Shih-Chieh Kao


National Water-Energy Data

Optimization Decision-making Tools

Early-stage Technologies

Environmental Synthesis

High-performance Computing

Advanced Manufacturing

Women in Water Power