4-1-1 in the 5-3-3 Jul 2013

Written by Alexanna Salmon on .

On June 25-26 we had visitors regarding the Igiugig hydro-power project: Bill Price with Gray Stassel Engineering, Monty Worthington and Doug Johnson with Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), David Roe and Jim Boschma with Boschma Technologies (BRI), and Shaun and Rorik Peterson with UAF associated with the BRI project.

BRI will be deploying a 5KW cyclo-turbine—a compact, high-efficiency power generator that is effective in shallow, deep and tidal waters. It features a curtate cycloidal motion, which means the blade angle of attack continuously changes as the blades travel about their orbit. The team plans to deploy the device this fall just above the Fish and Game Landing.

ORPC will not be deploying their device until 2014, but they provided a presentation on their RivGen power system which sits on a pontoon support structure. The pontoons float the device to its location, and then water is pumped into the pontoons until the device sinks to the bottom of the river. When the device needs to be re-floated, a pressure pump is used to pump air back into the pontoons. At 40 feet long, the machine is much larger than the BRI device, and is a 25KW. This device will be deployed near Fish and Game Island.

Both of the devices are prototypes and will be removed from the Kvichak upon proper demonstration and observation. It will help to inform a commercial unit which can then be commercially permitted to operate in the longterm. From today, we are at least five years away from achieving this goal, provided everything works according to plan.

We held a community meeting, and several lodge owners such as Blueberry Island and Clearwater, attended to voice their questions and concerns regarding the project, especially how it might relate to sportfishing and river traffic on the Kvichak. Our visitors stayed overnight at ManCamp and were able to discuss anchoring and deployment options with some of the ILC crew. It was a very productive visit, and I am glad that the community had the chance to become informed on the project and meet the device manufacturers. Thank you to everyone who participated, your insight is very valuable and greatly appreciated.