Multiple Turbines to Tap Mississippi River’s Energy

Fri December 12, 2008 - Southeast Edition

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (AP) Three companies have received preliminary federal permits to build underwater turbines that can harness the energy of the Mississippi River current.

The projects involve the installation of submerged turbine generators at more than 60 locations along the Mississippi, including one at Memphis.

The Commercial Appeal reports that if the firms receive final licensing from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, large-scale construction could begin within three years on the projects, which employ an emerging type of generating technology known as hydrokinetic power.

Unlike hydroelectric facilities, the projects won’t require dams or river diversions. Mounted in the river bed, or on bridge piers or barges, the turbines will spin in the natural current and produce clean, renewable power for sale to the electrical grid or individual industries.