Resource: Hydrokinetic Water Turbine at Hastings
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Title: Hydrokinetic Water Turbine at Hastings
Resource type: Case study
Topics: Energy, Water
Keywords: micro-hydro, hydro power, in-line hydropower, in-line water turbine, microhydro
Audience: Business, Government
Region: Twin Cities
Summary: A hydrokinetic turbine suspended December 2008 in the Mississippi River at Hastings is the first commercial example in the nation of harvesting water-current energy without a dam.
Content: The 35-kW turbine at the Army Corps of Engineers' Lock & Dam No. 2 is placed in-line with the river flow and is anticipated to increase renewable energy generation at the existing hydroelectric site by 5.7%. This "underwater windpower" generator was manufactured by Hydro Green Energy ( and is owned by the City of Hastings.

Strategies to tap river and tidal currents are on the leading edge of green energy research. Like wind and solar energy, hydrokinetic technology can be placed in remote areas and may be small or large scale. But uncertainties about their environmental effects limit deployment of these innovative technologies. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) approved licensing of the Hastings hydrokinetic project as the first pilot of it's kind in the U.S. Studies will be made on the effects on water quality as well as on aquatic and avian life and on safety. Public informational signage related to the project will also be integrated into the project.

For more detail on the issues being studied and the controvery this pilot has ignited, see and contact Susan Overson of the National Park Service/Mississippi National River and Recreation Area(MNRRA) at or Randy Thoreson of the National Park Service, Rivers, Trails and Conservation Assistance( RTCA)at

For more information about advanced water power technologies visit the U.S. Department of Energy Wind & Hydropower Technologies Program at and the Union of Concerned Scientists Clean Energy site at (search for: hydrokinetics)

Suggested by: Philipp Muessig
Added: 03/9/09
Updated: 07/27/11