Developer recommends more U.S. policies favoring hydro

A hydrokinetic project developer told a Senate committee hearing on climate policy that more policies are needed to further the role of waterpower technologies in a national energy strategy.

Chairman Wayne Krouse of Hydro Green Energy LLC was the sole hydro industry representative testifying May 19 at a Senate Environment & Public Works Committee hearing on business opportunities and climate policy.

Krouse said federal legislation to limit emissions of carbon into the atmosphere is necessary and important, but added it is not the only driver of development. (HydroWorld 2/27/09) He identified eight policies he said would help drive activities to address climate change while expanding innovative clean energy companies and renewables projects. Such an expansion would create a significant number of energy, environmental, and economic benefits, he added.

Krouse said all hydrokinetic power technologies, incremental hydropower, and waterpower technologies at non-powered dams should be included in climate change legislation. His other recommendations call for:
o production tax credit parity for qualifying waterpower technologies (HydroWorld 5/12/09);
o long-term extension of the production tax credit for qualifying waterpower technologies (HydroWorld 5/12/09);
o inclusion of all hydrokinetic power technologies, incremental hydro, and waterpower technologies at non-powered dams in a federal renewables portfolio standard;
o long-term extension of funds for the Clean Renewable Energy Bond program (HydroWorld 4/7/09);
o tax credits for companies investing in studies or monitoring programs that gather environmental performance data at installed new waterpower technology power projects;
o significant research, development, and deployment dollars from the Department of Energy specifically dedicated to advancing new waterpower technologies, with a special focus on better understanding environmental issues (HydroWorld 5/11/09); and
o compression of the licensing process for new waterpower technologies and compression of Clean Water Act 401 certification timelines by 50 percent.

Waterpower projects create jobs

Krouse said addition of Hydro Green Energy’s hydrokinetic project to Minnesota’s 4.4-MW Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 2 (No. 4306) led to creation of 61 jobs in seven states over more than two years. (HydroWorld 12/16/08)

The employment activities that resulted from the project will be replicated on a much larger and more permanent scale as the company’s project portfolio grows, Krouse added. Texas-based Hydro Green Energy is developing 15 waterpower projects totaling more than 500 MW in Alaska, Illinois, Iowa, Louisiana, Minnesota, Mississippi, New York, Texas, and Wisconsin. It also is working on other projects.

New technology would add power to locks and dams, create jobs

Hydro Green Energy said it has developed a patented technology it calls “Lock+” that allows power generation at existing non-powered locks and dams.

The company is pursuing development of seven Lock+ projects, each of which would create 180 to 190 jobs, Krouse said. For the seven projects, Hydro Green Energy expects to create as many as 1,330 jobs.

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