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Alaska village will install new river power generator

In this Tuesday, July 16, 2019, drone photo released by the University of Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Center for Energy and Power, Gov. Mike Dunleavy, center rear, poses for photos in front of a Riv-Gen Power System turbine on the bank of the Kvichak River in Igiugig, Alaska. A tiny Alaska Native village is adopting an emerging technology to transform the power of a local river into a renewable energy source. (Amanda Byrd/ University Alaska Fairbanks and Alaska Center for Energy and Power via AP)

By RACHEL D’ORO
Associated Press
ANCHORAGE, Alaska (AP) – A tiny Alaska Native village is adopting an emerging technology to transform the power of a local river into a renewable energy source.

The village council in Igiugig is the first tribal entity in the nation licensed by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to harness river water that’s not connected to a dam.

An underwater generator will be installed in coming days in the Kvichak River, part of a salmon-rich system that also provides subsistence food for the community of 70.

Officials with Portland, Maine-based Ocean Renewable Power Co. say a trial river run of the “RivGen Power System” gives them confidence the system will not harm adult fish.

Igiugig Village Council President AlexAnna Salmon says the generator is expected to greatly reduce reliance of costly diesel fuel.

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