FERC approves first hydrokinetic plant at existing hydro facility

17 December 2008

Two hydrokinetic units are to be installed below a floating barge in the tailrace of the US Army Corps of Engineers' Lock & Dam No2 on the Mississippi river in Hastings, Minnesota. Each has a capacity of 35kW, said FERC, and the units are expected to generate an average of 364MWh of electricity per year.

The units are being supplied by Hydro Green Energy, which said each has a nameplate capacity of 100kW. They are to be installed this month and in April.

The Corps approved the project last month.

FERC, in a statement, noted the importance of the step because it combined new technology with a conventional hydro power dam.

The existing hydropower facility at Lock & Dam No2 has an installed capacity of 4.4MW.

FERC's approval of the hydrokinetic project was welcomed by the national-hydropower-association (nha), which said the decision was a major milestone in the development of hydroelectric power in the US.

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