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RivGen Power System by Ocean Renewable Power Company
Ocean Renewable Power Company’s RivGen Power System.
Source: Ocean Renewable Power Company.

Project Summary

Igiugig Village is partnering with Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) to develop the RivGen Power System, a submerged cross-flow river current turbine system. This project uses RivGen to demonstrate installation, operation, and maintenance design improvements—including deployment and retrieval operations with minimal vessel support and no divers—to simplify maintenance and make system components more durable during operations. The project will implement, test (at full scale), and validate the system improvements that have been identified, designed, and constructed. The project will reduce energy costs and offset diesel generation in remote locations. Using local equipment and resources, the RivGen Power System will provide a model for marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) project implementation that is replicable in Alaska and nationally.

Project Snapshot
Project TitleNext-Generation MHK River Power System Optimized for Performance, Durability, and Survivability
AwardeeIgiugig Village Council
Awardee HQ LocationAlaska
DOE Funding Amount$400,000
Awardee Cost Share$100,000
Program AreaMHK System Design and Validation
Recipient TypeState/Local/Tribal Government
Award TypeCompetitive Funding Opportunity Announcement
Year Awarded2015
Work LocationsAlaska, Maine
Funding OpportunityFY 2015 Next-Generation Marine Energy Systems—Durability and Survivability
Congressional District(s)AK-AL, ME-1, ME-2


What You Need To Know


This project supports research and development toward developing cost-effective approaches for MHK device installation, operations, and maintenance—specifically, a river current turbine system in Igiugig Village, Alaska. Research and development efforts in this area will let the United States harness MHK energy resources, such as waves, tides, and currents, to power remote communities. In the near-term, MHK can power high-cost electric grid markets in isolated communities (such as those found in Alaska and Hawaii).

  • Improve the reliability of installation, operation, and maintenance logistics for MHK devices deployed near remote communities.
  • Increase system availability to greater than 80%.
  • Reduce energy costs and offset diesel generation at Igiugig Village.
  • Benefit the MHK industry by demonstrating low-cost, reliable installation, operation, and maintenance methods.
  • Developed and evaluated designs to reduce retrieval and deployment, operation, and maintenance costs.
  • Designed validation plans for components and complete systems and open-water tests.
  • Completed levelized cost of energy guidance for the improved system.
  • Conducted salmon smolt characterization and analysis.
  • Conducted ice study analysis.

About the Water Power Technologies Office

The U.S. Department of Energy’s Water Power Technologies Office advances cutting-edge technology to modernize the U.S. hydropower fleet and drive U.S. leadership in wave and tidal energy, with the goal of delivering low-cost power and resiliency to America’s power grids.