Low Water Levels on the Mississippi Forces Developer to Reconsider Hydrokinetic Projects

The recent drought and record low water levels on the Mississippi River has forced a proponent of hydrokinetic energy projects on the Mississippi river to reconsider its proposal.

Free Flow Power, a Massachusetts based company had been exploring development of hydrokinetic energy projects on the Mississippi River from St. Louis, MO to the Gulf of Mexico. Most recently, FFP had held 37 preliminary permits, that gave them the first right to the project sites as well as the ability to conduct feasibility studies.

In their progress report filed today, FFP states: “The drought of 2012 has produced record low-water conditions on parts of the Mississippi River, threatening commercial navigation on segments of the waterway and introducing conditions that may affect the feasibility of turbine infrastructure locations that FFP has proposed at some of its hydrokinetic development sites.”

FFP also notes other factors such as challenges in siting turbine infrastructure in the river channel and economic pressures in the electricity market in their decision to reconsider the proposed projects. The progress report can be read here.

FFP proposes to conduct detailed evaluation of their proposed projects in light of these factors before moving forward with licensing.