Nenana may be getting experimental in-river power turbine
January 3, 2011
This is a very cool test project for a technology that holds a lot of potential promise for powering Alaska communities.
Christopher Eshleman of the Fairbanks Daily News Miner: Federal regulators are reviewing plans for a submerged, in-river power turbine. It’s a pilot project energy researchers and the developer think could help communities across rural Alaska, where electric costs run exponentially higher than in urban hubs.
Two similar projects have been tested in Ruby and Eagle. This one, lined up for use near Nenana, would be bigger — between 50 and 300 kilowatts, via small turbines and an underwater transmission cable in the Tanana River. It would operate a little less than half the year.
Monty Worthington, a project development director for the Anchorage-based ORPC Alaska, said he hopes to have the system up and running in 2012.
Nenana links to the Interior’s electric grid and ORPC would sell power to the market, he said. The firm already holds a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission permit but wants to install the system at a different spot on the river than originally expected, said Jerome Johnson, a University of Alaska Fairbanks professor working with the firm and the city. Read more