New England developer pursues 59 hydrokinetic projects

Free Flow Power Corp. of Manchester, Mass., is pursuing development of 59 in-stream kinetic hydropower projects in seven states totaling 3,182 MW, all on the Mississippi River.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission issued preliminary permits to Free Flow Power Corp. limited liability companies in January to study the first four of the projects, which total 153 MW. (HNN 9/20/07)

The permitted projects, all in Louisiana, and the Free Flow units holding the permits are: 56-MW Brilliant Point (No. 12842), FFP Project 19 LLC; 22-MW Point Pleasant (No. 12844), FFP Project 24 LLC; 24-MW Thirty-five Mile Point (No. 12845), FFP Project 14 LLC; and 51-MW White Alder (No. 12843), FFP Project 23 LLC.

The permits will enable the company to maintain priority of application for a license during the term of the three-year-long permit while it conducts investigations and secures data to determine project feasibility.

In addition to Louisiana, Free Flow companies have filed permit applications for projects in Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, and Tennessee.

Partnerships eventually could be formed to assist with financing of individual projects.

Free Flow President Dan Irvin said while the nameplate capacity of all the proposed projects totals nearly 3,200 MW, the total available capacity, based on flow, would be about 1,600 MW.

There are no preferred sites for first development, Irvin said. However, he said the company hopes to have a pilot project in the river and operating within a year.

One or more pilot projects will be used to gather data as part of the licensing process, Irvin said.

The projects would use Free Flow Turbine Generator technology, which the company describes on its Internet site, www.free-flow-power.com, as a magnetically levitated, rim-mounted, permanent magnet electric generator. The company said the turbines can be configured to adapt to a variety of local site conditions. A typical array would consist of six individual turbines attached to a mooring assembly.

In addition to developing projects, Free Flow has said it plans to sell turbine-generators to other owners and developers of free flow hydrokinetic projects.

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