Center for Development of Hydrokinetic Technology Planned for Louisiana

Plans are under way for establishing a center for development of hydrokinetic turbines that could be used to generate hydroelectric power from the Mississippi and other rivers. The center will be developed with the help of a recently-awarded $3 million federal stimulus grant.

Tulane University is guiding the RiverSphere project in Louisiana, which university officials said could help to advance the science of hydrokinetic power.

The 22,000-square-foot center is planned for an existing building at the Port of New Orleans. Plans call for laboratories, a barge where turbines can be river-tested and administrative space. RiverSphere will promote development, testing, demonstration and commercialization of renewable resources, including hydrokinetic power, local media reported.

Tulane said a handful of companies and property owners have expressed interest in using RiverSphere to test and deploy turbines. The center hopes to have a testing barge in place within a year, with the center becoming fully operational in about two years, reports indicate.

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