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
October 23, 2009
(From L-R) President of Smart Product Innovations, Inc. Juno Beach, W. Scott Anderson, Mike Graham, Michael McNamara, and Alan W. Scarone, Associate Dean of Graduate Education and research Penn State.
Congratulations to REAP member W. Scotty Anderson Jr. and the team from ECO-Auger who just won the $125,000 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize for their ECO-Auger, a hydrokinetic device that converts moving water from river and ocean currents into renewable electric energy. The ECO-Auger’s hydraulic storage pressure compensation system guarantees constant energy output regardless of tidal current strength, according to a ConocoPhillips press release about the award. Designed with tapered helical leads on each end rather than sharp edges, the machine does not impact marine wildlife.
The ConocoPhillips Energy Prize is a joint initiative of ConocoPhillips and Penn State to recognize new ideas and original, actionable solutions that can help improve the way the nation develops and uses energy. A qualified panel of experts review entries and select up to five finalists. Concepts are judged on the basis of creativity, scalability, commercial viability, and sustainability. To read more about Anderson’s design and the contest, go here.
September 2, 2009
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) announced the selection of national laboratory-led projects for up to $11 million this year, as well as future years, subject to annual appropriations, under DOE’s competitive laboratory solicitation for the development of Advanced Water Power Technologies. These projects will advance the science needed to accelerate the commercial viability, market acceptance, and environmental performance for both new marine and hydrokinetic technologies as well as technologies and methods to improve on the performance of conventional hydropower facilities.
The following national laboratories and projects have been selected for award negotiations.
Topic Area One: Supporting Research and Testing for Marine and Hydrokinetic Energy (up to $2.5 Million for up to three years)
- National Renewable Energy Laboratory (Golden, Colorado), and fourteen partners, including universities, private industry, and three other DOE national laboratories, will develop essential tools and methods for the engineering, design, and testing of marine and hydrokinetic devices. Research will be performed in the areas of mechanical engineering and machine performance; testing hydrodynamics and sediments; development and testing of advanced materials; and system simulation and visualization.
- Sandia National Laboratories (Albuquerque, New Mexico), along with partners from universities and other national laboratories, will evaluate hydrokinetic device designs and performance, develop hydrodynamic theoretical and numerical models to create design codes for use by industry; and conduct basic research in materials, coatings, adhesives, and manufacturing to increase the reliability and cost-effectiveness of marine and hydrokinetic devices.