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.
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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