EPRI to test advanced hydropower technology under $1.5 million award

Palo Alto, Calif., September 12, 2011 — The Electric Power Research Institute has been selected for a $1.5 million award from the U.S. Department of Energy to deploy and test the Alden turbine, a hydropower electricity generator designed to reduce fish mortality during power production.

The award is part of a $17 million DOE and U.S. Department of Interior competitive process for research and development projects to advance hydropower technology.

The DOE award requires industry cost share, which will bring total project funding to $3 million.

The Alden turbine is designed to provide for safer passage of downstream migrating fish, potentially minimizing or avoiding non-generating spill over dams, through-fish bypasses, and downstream fish passage facilities. The design may also provide additional options for generating capacity and recovery of energy lost in minimum flow releases.   

The DOE/DOI competitive solicitation resulted in the selection of 16 projects under 4 areas of hydropower research. The EPRI Alden turbine demonstration project falls under the Environmental Mitigation Technologies for Conventional Hydropower topic to develop hydropower technologies that will enhance environmental performance while increasing electricity generation, mitigating fish and habitat impacts and enhancing downstream water quality.

The EPRI project will deploy the Alden Turbine at the Brookfield Renewable Power School Street Project in Cohoes, New York with a proposed three-year installation and test plan to verify model test data and fish survival predictions. Demonstration of this technology could contribute to developing an additional 25,000 MW of untapped domestic hydropower capacity.

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