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Hydropower Potential from New Stream-Reach Development for the Conterminous United States.

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Dataset Overview

This dataset is a summary of hydropower potential data (high-energy intensity stream-reaches and new potential areas for hydropower development) and environmental attributes aggregated to HUC10 watersheds for the Conterminous United States. The New Stream-reach Development Resource Assessment (NSD) uses an innovative geographic approach to analyze the potential for new hydropower development in US stream segments that do not currently have hydroelectric facilities. NSD is one among other types of untapped hydropower potential such as non-powered dams, existing hydropower facilities, pumped storage, and small conduits. The NSD assessment considers “new stream-reach development” (assessments conducted for the conterminous US) and "new site development" (assessments conducted for Alaska and Hawaii) distinct from other hydropower resource classes identified by the US Department of Energy (DOE) Water Power Program. 

Developed and implemented by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) for the DOE Water Power Program, the assessments leverage recent advancements in various geographic datasets on topography, hydrology, and environmental characteristics to develop the highest resolution and most rigorous national evaluation of US hydropower potential to date. NSD assessments are not intended to determine economic feasibility or to justify financial investments in individual site development. The NSD does, however, identify high-energy intensity stream-reaches and classify new potential areas for hydropower development using a range of technical, socio-economic, and environmental characteristics. 

This dataset consists of geo-referenced digital data and associated attributes that are applicable to multiple types of assessments, scenarios, and assumptions, ultimately leading to improved decision making and strategic planning by various organizations and individuals.