“Water turbines in the Grand River to generate energy…”
It would be great if the Grand River could generate energy for the city (or part of the city or just a building). I am not sure what the water speed of the river is but its constant all year round.
Great idea, Emily. We’ve done a little research on this and believe that the new micro-turbines may provide a solution.
- Mayor of Grand Rapids
After an initial review of the hydro options in Grand River back in 2010, the Renewable Energy Team (RET) concluded that building a hydro is cost prohibitive. There were many elements under consideration which added to the cost of hydro. For example, licensing a hydro plant is a daunting task from a financial, technical and political point of view. It can take several years for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to approve a hydro project in a river. The FERC permitting information can be found here: http://www.ferc.gov/ Additional issues to consider when building a hydro in Grand River is the impact on plans to bring back the rapids, fish ladder, canoers, kayakers, fish, downtown businesses, and visual aesthetics. Further costs of licensing and environmental impact cannot yet be mitigated with a solid return on investment.
However, as we continue to develop and implement the sustainable energy plan, hydro should and will remain an important item on the table as part of our discussions on sustainable energy solutions. As technology improves, we should continue to research the potential feasibility of such a project in the future. Future improved technology might provide an economically feasible option for Grand Rapids to invest in the hydro project.
To read all of the citizen’s comments to this post, visit http://grandideas.mygrcity.us/ideas/106/water-turbines-in-the-grand-river-to-generate-energy