U.S. city plans to add hydrokinetic turbines to 4.4-MW project

The city of Hastings is working with a private developer that plans to install kinetic hydropower turbines totaling 70 kW in the tailrace of Hastings’ conventional 4.4-MW Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 2 hydroelectric project.

Project developer and equipment manufacturer Hydro Green Energy LLC of Houston is helping the city put together plans for new generation. The city must file an application to amend its hydropower license (No. 4306) if it is to add the new capacity to the project, at a Corps of Engineers lock and dam.

As part of preparing a license amendment application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Hydro Green Energy organized a meeting July 16 at Hastings City Hall to provide a project overview, timeline, and information on engineering design and resource plans. An amendment application could be filed in September or October.

Plans call for installing Hydro Green Energy’s kinetic energy hydropower turbine array in the project tailrace. The turbine array likely would consist of two 35-kW turbines suspended from a floating platform tethered to the existing powerhouse. The array would operate only when the power plant is in operation.

Hydrokinetic systems generate electricity from moving water without a need to construct dams, impoundments, or conduits.

Hydro Green Energy is paying all development and regulatory costs and will share revenue generated by sale of the power from the kinetic hydro units. Xcel Energy buys generation from the existing project and also would buy the new electricity.

Mississippi River Lock and Dam No. 2 originally was built in 1930. It was reconstructed in 1948, and again from 1987 to 1995. The hydropower project was added in 1987.

Hydro Green Energy said its hydrokinetic equipment is capable of producing 250 kW or more per unit in other locations with a better flow profile. It holds FERC preliminary permits to study adding conventional and hydrokinetic units to four non-hydro dams in Mississippi to generate more than 96 MW. (HNN 6/13/07)

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