River turbine to be tested at rural Alaska village

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by Your Alaska Link News Team

A company that builds underwater turbines powered by tides is preparing to test a version in Alaska that is powered by rivers.

Portland, Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. on Wednesday showed off its RivGen Power System, which in July will be installed in the Kvichak River to generate power for the village of Igiugig.

The device was constructed with backing from the Alaska Energy Authority and the Denali Commission.

The turbine is 40 feet wide and has two sets of 15-foot blades. At 6 knots, the blades will make 49 revolutions per minute.

Company officials estimate it will provide up to half of Igiugig's electricity.

The company has permits to operate the turbine through September. The turbine will be closely monitored for its effect on fish.