The Buffalo News Opinion has been covering a proposal by Hydro Green Energy to deploy in situ' power generators in the Niagara River.
Each facility, if built as envisioned, will produce 582,540,000 kWh a year, enough clean energy for nearly 39,000 homes.They are starting out small to evaluate environmental impacts and performance.
Hydro Green intends to utilize FERC’s hydrokinetic pilot licensing process and plans to have equipment in the water on a small-scale basis in 2010. The purpose of this approach is to first test our equipment and monitor the environmental, navigational and recreational impacts, if any, before deploying the full projects.Let's be optimistic about potential adverse environmental impacts until we see some field data. What makes this project interesting is that a large portion of the water flowing through the Niagara comes from Canada. It's not like Canadian water stays along the north bank and US runoff to the south. Who's green power is it then? Clearly, the Canadians will want their own deployments.
Here's a basic description of the Hydro Green technology.
The name plate capacity of the design is 250 kW per unit with a rotor diameter of 12 feet. Due to our surface suspension system, there are inherent operational maintenance and safety advantages. An on-board gantry allows for the raising and lowering of individual units in the hydro kinetic turbine array without having to conduct underwater diving and maintenance operations in extreme water velocity and near zero visibility conditions. The floating raft provides a platform for operation and maintenance workers to stand on and place equipment during activities.
Under the category of More Where That Comes From, let's not forget that the existing turbines near Niagara Falls are ancient technology. There's plenty more power can be extracted with upgrading the equipment.
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