The United States’ first hydrokinetic turbine was recently installed in the Mississippi River. The turbine, which harnesses power from moving water, is downstream from a hydroelectric-plant dam.
With a production capacity of only 35 KW, Minnesota’s turbine isn’t exactly a heavy hitter, but it will increase the dam’s capacity by over 5 percent.
It also signals the beginning of a new energy trend. Hydro Green, the company behind the project, plans on installing two six-foot hydrokinetic turbines in the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers that can produce 1,600 MW combined.
A competing company called Free Flow Power Corp. also has its sights set on turbine production in the Mississipi River.
Expect even more projects in the near future— Congress passed a bill this year extending tax incentives for hydrokinetic turbines through 2016.
Photo Credit: Wired
Ariel Schwartz was formerly the editor of CleanTechnica and is a contributor at Fast Company, Inhabitat, Triple Pundit, SF Weekly, and NBC Bay Area Online. A graduate of Vassar College, she has previously worked in publishing, organic farming, documentary film, and newspaper journalism. Her interests include permaculture, hiking, skiing, music, relocalization, and cob (the building material). She currently resides in San Francisco, CA.