ORPC’s RiverGen Power System for Alaska Moves Forward

Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC) is progressing with the manufacture of RivGen power system at Midcoast Regional Redevelopment Authority’s (MRRA) Brunswick Landing, bound for Igiugig, Alaska.

Photo: ORPC

The system will be installed in the Kvichak River where it will produce electricity from water currents for the Village of Igiugig, an unincorporated community with a year-round population of 70.

The project will help reduce reliance on and environmental risks from diesel fuel and stimulate Igiugig’s economy through local employment and the lowering of electrical costs.

According to the previous updates, the project, when launched, will provide approximately half of the community’s electricity needs.

The RivGen power system, provided by ORPC, incorporates in-stream turbines that require no dams or barrages, and has the ability to seamlessly integrate with isolated power grids that rely on diesel generators such as Igiugig’s, offsetting diesel fuel use and allowing generators to be shut off entirely.

To remind, in 2014 and 2015, Igiugig and ORPC partnered on demonstration projects to verify engineering design, collect and analyze environmental data, and install, maintain and retrieve the RivGen system using locally-available personnel, vessels and equipment.

This project is supported by the US Department of Energy, who provided funding to the Igiugig Village Council of $2.3 million for the continued development of a hydrokinetic system designed for rivers and shallow tidal waters in remote communities.