Hydro Green Energy, LLC has successfully completed the installation of one of two turbines at the nation’s first-ever commercial hydrokinetic power project. Once the electrical systems are tested, the hydrokinetic turbine will send clean, environmentally-friendly, renewable electricity to the Minnesota electric power grid. The second underwater turbine will be installed in the spring of 2009.
Hydrokinetic power refers to the generation of electricity from moving water without impoundments or diversionary structures that are typically used at conventional hydropower facilities. Hydro Green Energy’s technology operates in open rivers, tidal areas and oceans. Its broadly patented technology (U.S. Patent # 6,955,049), which is the first surface-suspended system in the industry, is also deployable downstream from existing hydropower facilities (known as Hydro+(TM)), which allows for new, clean power generation within the existing project footprint.
The City of Hastings is installing a two-turbine Hydro+(TM) project downstream from its 4.4 megawatt run-of-river hydropower plant on U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Lock & Dam No. 2. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission approved the project by a 5-0 vote on December 13, 2008 and on December 23 authorized the installation of the first turbine. Once the project is operational, extensive water quality, fish survival, mussel and avian studies and/or monitoring will be performed by Hydro Green Energy, much at the request of the National Park Service, which participated extensively in the nearly two-year long licensing process.