Skip to main content

Water Power Technologies

Harnessing the water cycle for renewable energy

The Challenge – Optimizing Our Water Resources

Next-generation water power technologies offer new options to Harness the Water Cycle,” by helping water power resource managers to: 

  • Develop advanced conventional and pumped storage hydropower (PSH) projects to expand the use of renewable energy and its integration into flexible, reliable power grids
  • Create state-of-the-art analytical tools for hydropower owners and operators to evaluate power economics and environmental sustainability

Critical Need: Water power resource managers need advanced modeling tools to support decision making, to optimize and increase water use efficiency, and to simulate the potential impacts and value of next-generation conventional and PSH technologies.

Serving Communities with Water Power Technologies

What Argonne Delivers: Multistage Water Power Technology Expertise

Argonne National Laboratory is helping those who need to make decisions to move forward with hydropower development or upgrade projects. In addition, Argonne helps to optimize the utilization and management of water and hydropower resources through modeling and simulation of complex water resource and hydropower operations.

Argonne’s work spans the spectrum from developing advanced algorithms and models, to modeling applications and technology transfer, and to providing users with multi-stage water power analyses. The lab’s capabilities include:

  • Using hydropower expertise to customize modeling tools to simulate and optimize conventional hydropower and PSH operations in traditional and restructured electricity markets by working with Argonne’s Hydropower team.
  • Transferring Argonne-developed models to users worldwide to provide them with access to GTMax, EMCAS, CHEERS, and other state-of-the-art modeling tools and supporting model applications and custom analyses that address specific user needs.
  • Performing market modeling and analyses for hydropower and PSH projects by working with Argonne’s Electricity Markets Team.
  • Adding infrastructure security and power grid resiliency modeling expertise to conduct water power impact analyses by working with Argonne’s infrastructure protection team.
  • Providing access to world-class supercomputing to expand modeling complexity and reduce processing times for faster results by using Argonne Leadership Computing Facility.

Benefits to the Community

By working with Argonne, hydropower research partners and power managers can utilize decision-making and planning tools that enable them to make the important decisions needed to manage valuable hydropower and water resources.

Argonne has partnered with hydropower operators for 35 years of hydropower analyses in the United States and over 20 countries in Europe, Asia and Africa.

Argonne’s GTMax and EMCAS models have been licensed to users in more than 40 countries around the world.

Argonne has helped hydropower research partners and power managers conduct:  

  • Environmental analysis and assessment
  • Systems and integration analysis
  • System, plant, and generating unit performance optimization
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Power market analysis
  • Project valuation and investment decision-making


Hydropower News

Our People

With an unwavering focus on our mission, our researchers take an interdisciplinary approach to research, advancing their fields of study and generating new knowledge for the benefit of future generations.