Two 70-MW hydrokinetic projects proposed in Niagara’s shadow

Hydrokinetic power developer Hydro Green Energy LLC has filed applications with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to study development of two 70-MW hydrokinetic power projects in the Niagara River Gorge downstream from historic hydropower site Niagara Falls.

FERC issued a notice of application from Hydro Green, of Houston, for a preliminary permit to study development of 70-MW New York 1 (No. 13112) to utilize 36 Hydro Green generating units 1.9 miles downstream from Niagara Falls, N.Y., immediately below the area known as the Whirlpool.

FERC said it also received a second application from Hydro Green for a permit for 70-MW New York 2 (No. 13113) to utilize 54 Hydro Green units four miles downstream of Niagara Falls, N.Y., immediately above the Lewiston-Queenston Bridge.

If granted by FERC, a preliminary permit gives an applicant priority for a site over competing applicants, while the permit holder studies the site and makes financial arrangements necessary to apply for a license. A permit does not authorize construction.

Hydro Green designs, builds, and operates hydrokinetic energy systems that can be deployed in rivers, tidal areas, and oceans. The systems generate electricity from moving water without a need to construct dams, impoundments, or conduits.

In April, Hydro Green announced closing of its $2.6 million funding round, a milestone in advancing several hydrokinetic projects in the United States. (HNN 4/17/08) The company already holds more than a dozen preliminary permits for projects in Alaska and Mississippi, many utilizing existing Corps of Engineers dams.

Hydro Green expects to generate electricity at its first project in Minnesota on the Mississippi River in late August. It is to install units totaling 70 kW in the tailrace of the conventional 4.4-MW Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 2 hydropower project operated by the city of Hastings, Minn., (No. 4306).

Hydrokinetic project studied upstream of Niagara

Another hydrokinetic developer, Free Flow Power Corp., is asking FERC for a preliminary permit, on behalf of its FFP Niagara Project 1 LLC, to study the 17.5-MW Niagara River hydrokinetic project (No. 13098) above the falls.

That project would utilize 875 Free Flow Power hydrokinetic units grouped in matrices placed along 17.5 miles of the Niagara River from Peace Bridge, at the outlet of Lake Erie, to the lower end of Grand Island, above Niagara Falls.

Free Flow, of Manchester, Mass., is pursuing development of more than 60 in-stream kinetic hydropower projects, many on the Mississippi River. (HNN 1/23/08)

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