The deadline to comment on the draft report “Hydrokinetic Energy Projects & Recreation: A Guide to Assessing Impacts,” has been extended until November 15, 2010. The report provides guidance on evaluating impacts of new hydropower technologies (i.e. tidal, in-river current, and wave) on recreation. The report is being supported by the National Park Service (NPS) and the Department of Energy.
Hydrokinetics; in-river hydrokinetics; new technology
Through a letter sent to the Department of Interior and Department of Energy, the Hydropower Reform Coalition supported the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) reached by the two departments for offshore energy development, including marine and hydrokinetic.
The Departments reached the MOU last month, in which they agreed to work together for development of wind and marine & hydrokinetic energy.
In April 2009, the U.S. Department of the Interior (Interior) and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) regarding the development of hydrokinetic and renewable energy projects on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS). While the MOU resolved a long-standing jurisdictional impasse between the agencies, there remain unresolved regulatory matters regarding the approval and oversight of these emerging technologies. Now that the agencies have resolved the jurisdictional matter and committed to work together on this matter, however, such matters may be further resolved in a manner that would promote development of this vast renewable energy resource.
In early 2009, operations began in the City of Hastings, Minnesota, at the nation’s first commercially-operational, FERC-licensed hydrokinetic power facility (P-4306-017). In what was originally dubbed as a “big science experiment” by the City’s management, came a unique public-private green energy partnership that is taking the hydrokinetic power industry to new heights. At Hastings, Hydro Green installed two hydrokinetic power turbines downstream from the City’s 4.4 MW hydropower plant to increase overall capacity. This unique application of Hydro Green Energy’s patented hydrokinetic technology at an existing hydropower project is increasing the City’s clean energy output and is a technology application that has worldwide use. This paper examines the project and its data. Additionally, Hydro Green Energy’s experiences at Hastings have led to the development of a potentially game-changing technology that is currently under development and previewed in this paper.