Apply by May 8: DOE Hydropower, Marine Energy Student Competitions

The U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Water Power Technologies Office (WPTO) is accepting applications for the inaugural Hydropower Collegiate Competition (HCC) and fourth annual Marine Energy Collegiate Competition (MECC). These competitions aim to inspire and help build the workforce to lead the hydropower and marine energy industries, which are important resources for the U.S. to achieve a carbon-free power sector by 2035 and a net-zero-emissions economy by 2050.

The HCC and MECC offer participants the opportunity to develop solutions to complex energy challenges and build real-world experience and professional connections, paving the way for students to start their clean energy careers.

Applications for both competitions are due May 8, 2022.

HCC teams will compete in two contests:

  • In the Case Study Contest, teams will analyze a case study that focuses on how hydropower fits into a future power grid supported by 100 percent renewable energy and the associated opportunities and challenges of incorporating the hydropower fleet into this clean energy vision.
  • In the Connections Creation Contest, teams will interview industry professionals to explore and learn about career opportunities in different sectors of the hydropower industry. Each team will also organize and conduct at least one event educating middle school, high-school or college students, and/or the public about hydropower.

The inaugural HCC builds on the success of the MECC, which challenges competitors to unlock the power of the ocean through the development of next-generation marine energy technologies. Marine energy resources offer opportunities to provide clean energy to remote and island communities and to leverage the ocean to power blue economy applications, such as ocean observation technology or desalination and water treatment devices.

Specifically, the 2023 MECC teams will:

  • Develop a market research-supported business plan and conceptual-level technical design of a system that could be commercialized to address power needs for a chosen sector of the blue economy.
  • Pitch their plan to a panel of judges and hypothetical investors.
  • Build and test a device to produce energy (optional).
  • Engage with their community through outreach and educational activities.

Undergraduate and graduate students from post-secondary institutions—including colleges, universities, community colleges and trade schools—are invited to compete in both competitions. Students from non-U.S. institutions are welcome to apply but must partner with students from a U.S.-accredited institution, and only teams led by U.S. institutions are eligible to receive WPTO funding. HCC and MECC applications do not require initial research or engineering.

Learn more here.


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