A MN city seeks approval to operate first in-river hydrokinetic project


On April 24, 2008 City of Hastings, MN filed an application seeking to get an approval from the federal government to run an in-river hydrokinetic project. The proposed hydrokinetic project is to be located just downstream of Mississippi Lock and Dam # 2 in Hastings, MN about 30 miles southeast of Minneapolis, MN. The City of Hastings, which also holds the license for the currently operational 4MW hydroelectric project (P-4306) on the Lock and Dam is seeking for an amendment that would approve addition of two 35 kW hydrokinetic units, for a total installed capacity of 70 kW. If licensed this will be the first-ever in-stream hydrokinetic project in the US.While the hydrokinetic technology looks promising, just like with any other new technology, it is important to proceed carefully and to address any ecological or recreational issues that may arise. FERC, the federal jurisdictional agency for in-river hydrokinetic projects, currently has a policy of issuing conditional licenses for test projects. In December 2007, FERC had issued a similar license for the Makah Bay Wave energy project offshore in Challam County, WA.Read this article about the growth of hydrokinetic projects.