Alaska village pursues cutting-edge hydrokinetic project at FERC

The Igiugig Village Council (IVC) on April 1 notified the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission of its intent to file an application for a hydrokinetic pilot project license for the Igiugig Hydrokinetic Project located in Igiugig, Alaska.

This is a pilot project consisting of: a two-device hydrokinetic power system, the Ocean Renewable Power Co. (ORPC) RivGen Power System, installed under the water’s surface to convert the energy of river currents to electricity; underwater and buried terrestrial power and data (P&D) cables; a shore station; and environmental monitoring equipment.

The project site is located in the Kvichak River at the village of Igiugig, in the Lake and Peninsula Borough, about 240 air miles southwest of Anchorage, Alaska. The project will have an installed rated capacity of 40 kW.

Prior testing conducted in 2014 and proposed for 2015 has generated valuable environmental and aquatic data and knowledge for use in the public domain. Through an environmental monitoring program, the first phase of the investigation will be conducted for one year, and will continue to document the technical and environmental performance of the RivGen device in the Kvichak River.

The village proposes two phases for the project:

  • Phase 01 – IVC will contract with ORPC to install, monitor and test a RivGen Power System, consisting of a single device, from September 2016 through April 2017, when the device will be removed to avoid ice flow. It will be redeployed in June 2017 and operated through the winter until the spring ice-out period. After several months of operation and monitoring, a decision will be made whether to install the second RivGen device.
  • Phase 02 – IVC will expand the RivGen system by contracting with ORPC to install, monitor and commission a second device, mooring system, and underwater P&D cables in 2018. The underwater P&D cables will connect with the existing P&D cables (installed during Phase 01) at the junction box at the shore location.
About Barry Cassell 20414 Articles
Barry Cassell is Chief Analyst for GenerationHub covering coal and emission controls issues, projects and policy. He has covered the coal and power generation industry for more than 24 years, beginning in November 2011 at GenerationHub and prior to that as editor of SNL Energy’s Coal Report. He was formerly with Coal Outlook for 15 years as the publication’s editor and contributing writer, and prior to that he was editor of Coal & Synfuels Technology and associate editor of The Energy Report. He has a bachelor’s degree from Central Michigan University.