Alaska River Generates Usable Power

The RivGen® Power System generates emission-free electricity from river currents and connects directly into existing remote community grids using smart grid technology.

Igiugig is the first Tribal entity in the United States to be issued a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission hydrokinetic pilot project license. The license allowed Igiugig Village Council and Ocean Renewable Power Corporation to install the unique sustainable energy solution, RivGen® Power System, in the Kvichak River in July.

The 40-kW RivGen® Power System will provide up to 50% of the community’s annual electricity needs and reduce the use of expensive and environmentally risky diesel fuel. Plans are in place to install a second RivGen® device in conjunction with smart microgrid electronics and energy storage system. When complete, the systems are projected to reduce diesel usage by 90%.

“For millennia, the mighty Kvichak River has sustained us with the greatest sockeye salmon run on earth,” said AlexAnna Salmon, Igiugig Village Council president. “For now, it supplies us 100% of the purest drinking water, flowing from Alaska’s largest lake. It is high time that the Kvichak supplies 100% of our energy needs. Our village has always believed that if it can be done here, it can be done anywhere on the globe.”

The Igiugig Hydrokinetic Project is supported by the U.S. Dept. of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy; U.S. Dept. of Agriculture; Alaska Energy Authority; Igiugig Village Council; and private investors.

by Tara Carey

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