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EERE has released a report assessing likelihood of fish injury and mortality from the operation of hydrokinetic turbines. This report—completed by the Electric Power Research Institute in conjunction with researchers at Alden Laboratories and the U.S. Geological Survey Conte Laboratory—assesses potential injury mechanisms using data from studies with conventional hydro turbines, theoretical models for predicting blade strike probabilities and mortality rates, and results of flume testing with three turbine designs and several fish species to document fish behavior and estimate survival rates. Initial results indicate that fish injury and mortality rates in the test turbines were very low for the species tested—and, in most cases, were similar to the levels seen in the control groups of fish not exposed to the turbines—though the researchers point out that additional studies are needed for larger numbers of species, additional types of turbines, and in real-world settings. This work has led to additional follow-up studies on fish interactions with MHK turbines, including an investigation of fish turbine avoidance rates under light and dark conditions in flume settings.

The Water Power Program is committed to developing and deploying a portfolio of innovative technologies for clean, domestic power generation from resources such as hydropower, waves, and tides.

The Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) success stories highlight the positive impact of its work with businesses, industry partners, universities, research labs, and other entities.

Project Overview

Positive Impact

Report shows hydrokinetic turbines have minimal environmental impact.

Location

Massachusetts

Partners

Electric Power Research Institute, Alden Laboratories, U.S. Geological Survey Conte Laboratory

EERE Investment

$597,440

Clean Energy Sector

Renewable electricity generation