Plans to Develop Hydrokinetic Projects on the Mississippi Abandoned

A combination of challenges including low water levels on the Mississippi has forced a developer to surrender the permits it held to study the feasibility of hydrokinetic projects on the Mississippi River.

A letter filed before FERC by Free Flow Power on June 17 states “pursuing development of the Projects at this time is not viable.” 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.

FERC, California Agree to Coordinate in Development of Hydrokinetic Projects

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and California have signed a Memorandum of Understanding to coordinate procedures and schedules at the federal and state levels for development of hydrokinetic energy projects off the California coast.

According to a FERC news release, FERC and California have agreed to the following:


Potential Impacts of Hydrokinetic and Wave Energy Conversion Technologies on Aquatic Environments

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A new generation of hydropower technologies, the kinetic hydro and wave energy conversion devices, offers the possibility of generating electricity from the movements of water, without the need for dams and diversions. The Energy Policy Act of 2005 encouraged the development of these sources of renewable energy in the United States, and there is growing interest in deploying them globally. The technologies that would extract electricity from free-flowing streams, estuaries, and oceans have not been widely tested. Consequently, the U.S. Department of Energy convened a workshop to (1) identify the varieties of hydrokinetic energy and wave energy conversion devices and their stages of development, (2) identify where these technologies can best operate, (3) identify the potential environmental issues associated with these technologies and possible mitigation measures, and (4) develop a list of research needs and/or practical solutions to address unresolved environmental issues. We review the results of that workshop, focusing on potential effects on freshwater, estuarine, and marine ecosystems, and we describe recent national and international developments. 


Glenn Cada; Ahlgrimm, James; Bahleda, Michael; Bigford Tom; Stavrakas, Stefanie Damiani; Hall, Douglas; Moursund, Russell; Sale, Michael

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FERC and Washington Sign MoU on Development of Hydrokinetic Projects

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed between FERC and the State of Washington to streamline the regulatory structure for development of hydrokinetic projects in Washington.

Under the MoU, among other things, FERC and Washington will notify each other when one becomes aware of a potential hydrokinetic project in the state and establish a schedule for reviewing and processing applications. The two entities will also coordinate environmental review of any proposed project.