First Commercial Hydrokinetic Power Turbine Installed; DOE Unveils Hydropower Database

Hydro Green Energy LLC has completed the installation of one of two turbines at the United States’ first-ever commercial hydrokinetic power project. Last month, The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved by a 5-0 vote the licensing and installation of the power station in Minnesota.

The City of Hastings, Minnesota is installing a two-turbine Hydro+ project downstream from its 4.4-megawatt (MW) run-of-river hydropower plant on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lock & Dam No. 2. Once the electrical systems are tested, the hydrokinetic turbine will send electricity to the Minnesota electric power grid.

The second underwater turbine will be installed in the spring of 2009. Once the project is operational, extensive water quality, fish survival, mussel and avian impact studies will be performed by Hydro Green Energy. Power sales from the turbines’ output to Xcel Energy will be shared between the City of Hastings and Hydro Green Energy.

“Despite great uncertainty facing the United States workforce, Hydro Green Energy is providing work for Americans, including highly-skilled, professional and hard working Minnesotans. We are immensely impressed with the quality of the work done in Minnesota and we greatly look forward to expanding these opportunities in the coming years as the company and its project portfolio expands,” said Wayne Krouse, chairman and CEO of Hydro Green Energy.

In a related story, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE) Wind and Hydropower Technologies Program has developed and released a database that provides up-to-date information on marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy in the United States and around the world. The database includes wave, current and ocean thermal energy conversion technologies.

The fully searchable database allows the user to search among both technology types and specific projects, based on a number of criteria including geographical location, resource type and technology stage or project status. Users can access details on a device or project’s size, dimensions and mooring methods, as well as project details, including information on permitting, power purchase agreements and partnerships. The database also includes an interactive GPS mapping feature that allows the user to pinpoint certain project locations worldwide.

The database indicates that the marine and hydrokinetic industry is present in approximately 28 countries, with the majority of companies worldwide based in the United Kingdom and the United States.

To access the database, click here.

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