Argonne scores hydropower research grant

September 7, 2011

Associated Press

(AP/Rick Bowmer, file)

Argonne National Laboratory has secured nearly $2 million in federal money for hydropower technology research.

The lab, located in suburban Chicago, is one of 16 research facilities in 11 states to receive Department of Energy funds for such research. On Tuesday the department announced it would distribute funds totaling nearly $17 million over three years.

Argonne is the only Illinois project to receive money. The lab will investigate ways to improve pumped storage hydropower, where utilities pump water up to a dam when electricity demand is low, then release the water when demand is high. Supporters say it can make electric grids more reliable.

Energy Secretary Steven Chu said improving that technology would help maximize use of a clean energy resource and create jobs.