Hydro Green Energy secures new funding, appoints new CEO

Hydropower developer Hydro Green Energy LLC announced it has secured an equity capital and project development investment from Providence Renewables LLC of Dallas, Texas. HGE also announced the appointment of Michael P. Maley as president and chief executive officer.

“This cash infusion will enable dynamic growth for Hydro Green Energy,” said Wayne F. Krouse, founder of HGE and newly named executive vice president of technology. “Our ability to secure funding in such a difficult economic climate validates our work to date and our vision of the future.”

The value of the new funding was not disclosed.

The new funds will be used to expedite the development of HGE’s nearly 1,000-MW pipeline of low-head hydropower projects. The company will hire additional technical, commercial and regulatory personnel, who will facilitate the successful development of HGE’s projects. In addition, the company will continue to fund the research and development of its innovative hydropower technologies.

Hydro Green Energy developed and installed the only commercial, FERC-licensed hydrokinetic power plant in the US, in Hastings, Minnesota.

The company is presently developing 34 low-head hydropower projects at existing non-powered dams in Alabama, Iowa, Illinois, Kentucky, Louisiana, Minnesota, Missouri, Mississippi, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, West Virginia and Texas. Permits are pending on numerous other proposed projects.

Newly-appointed HGE CEO Michael Maley has 25 years of experience developing, designing, constructing and operating power generation facilities. He has developed or acquired more than $5 billion of electric generating assets and negotiated power purchase agreements in excess of $25 billion. Prior to joining Hydro Green, Maley was president and chief executive officer of Perpetual Energy Systems, a solar energy company. He also served as president and chief executive officer of Alliant Energy Generation, a subsidiary of Alliant Energy.

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Hydro Green Energy hydrokinetic technology proves fish friendly

The first and only direct fish survival study performed on a hydrokinetic turbine shows that the technology is exceedingly safe for fish.

The hydrokinetic power turbine tested was designed and manufactured by Texas-based Hydro Green Energy, LLC, which also operates the unit at U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Lock and Dam No. 2 in Hastings, Minn.

The 82-page study results were filed at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, the federal agency that regulates the hydropower industry.

The fish survival study was performed this summer at the only commercial, FERC-licensed hydrokinetic power plant in the United States, the 100-KW Hastings project.

The Hastings project was approved by a 5-0 vote by FERC on Dec. 13, 2008 and began operating in mid-2009.

At the Hastings project, Normandeau Associates, a consulting firm with 40 years of experience in providing ecological, environmental and natural resources management services, evaluated the direct effects to fish of the first of two hydrokinetic units.

The consulting firm conducted the fish survival study using their “HI-Z Turb N’ Tag” methodology. Normandeau’s patented methodology has been utilized at nearly 50 conventional hydro projects and by the Department of Energy, but never on a hydrokinetic turbine.

This methodology uses a controlled experiment approach and produces comprehensive, statistically reliable and verifiable results on injury and survival of fish passed through a turbine, spillway or over falls.

To accomplish this task, Normandeau deployed 502 balloon and radio tagged fish of a variety of species and sizes. 402 fish swam through HGE’s hydrokinetic turbine, which rotates at 21 revolutions per minute, and 100 were allowed to swim freely in the river near the turbine.

Environmental scientists studied fish survival and injury rates of both groups after recapture of nearly all the tagged fish.

Pre-installation computer modeling performed by Hydro Green Energy, which relied on models created by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Energy, indicated a 97 percent fish survival rating for the turbine, Hydro Green Energy reported.

Only one fish out of the 402 that were introduced into the hydrokinetic unit showed evidence of direct physical harm, and Hydro Green Energy reports that this may have been due to the fact that the fish was outfitted with a balloon tag, causing it rise to the surface to interact with the hydrokinetic device in a manner that otherwise would never occur.

“The comprehensive study performed on our hydrokinetic turbine wholly confirms what we had modeled with a computer before the turbine was installed, as well as what we knew in our minds: our hydrokinetic turbine is an extremely environmentally friendly technology,” said Wayne F. Krouse, Chairman and CEO of Hydro Green Energy. “From the first day this project was envisioned, Hydro Green Energy committed itself to performing this study as a way to not only advance our technologies and projects, but to advance the global hydrokinetic power industry as a whole. While the study specifically validates our technology, it also validates our pre-installation computer modeling, which can be performed on other technologies with a high degree of confidence.”

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