Officials celebrate opening of America’s first hydrokinetic power project

On the Mississipi River in Hastings, Minn., the first of two hydrokinetic turbines has been activated as officials celebrated the official opening of what has been billed as the nation’s first federally-licensed hydrokinetic power project.

Federal, state and city officials gathered here Aug. 20, 2009, to mark the first production of a 100-KW turbine manufactured by Houston-based Hydro Green Energy LLC. The second turbine will be installed next year. Together, the two units will be able to generate up to 250 KW at the Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 2. 

Philip Moeller, a member of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, said the startup of the nation’s first licensed hydrokinetic power turbine is a “step forward in the advancement of hydrokinetic technologies.”

Hydro Green Energy also said Normandeau Associates, an environmental consulting firm, evaluated the turbine’s direct effect on fish. Pre-installation computer modeling indicated an estimated 97.5 percent fish survival rating for the turbine, Hydro Green Energy said.

“The preliminary results on the Hastings fish study confirm what we knew, and in fact, exceed our expectations and modeling,” said Wayne Krouse, chairman and chief executive officer of Hydro Green Energy.

Krouse recently testified before Congress, identifying eight policies that would help lower carbon emissions and promote the increased use of clean energy, including hydropower. (HydroWorld 5/29/09)

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