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ORPC’s RivGen® Power System Delivers Power to Remote Alaskan Village Grid

Affordable, Clean Energy for Islanded Communities Now a Reality


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RivGen® Power System on station in Kvichak River, Igiugig, Alaska prior to deployment in July.

Ocean Renewable Power Company LLC

Portland, Maine, July 29, 2015 – ORPC is pleased to announce that its 2015 RivGen® Power System Demonstration Project in the Kvichak River at the remote river village of Igiugig, Alaska, was successfully deployed and is providing power to the local microgrid, significantly decreasing the community's diesel fuel use. Equipped with ORPC’s latest technological advancements, the 25-kilowatt RivGen® Power System is designed to reduce and stabilize the cost of power in remote or "islanded" communities located near rivers and tidal estuaries.

"We are thrilled that our RivGen® System is demonstrating a viable, renewable energy option for islanded communities currently dependent on diesel fuel to meet their local electricity needs," said ORPC President & CEO Chris Sauer. "We are indebted to our Alaska and Seattle-based project team, the Village of Igiugig, and the expertise of the local contractors who've proven once again that installation, maintenance and retrieval of the RivGen® System is absolutely do-able using locally-available equipment and vessels."

On July 1, ORPC hosted Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) in Igiugig to show her the RivGen® device prior to deployment. Following her tour of the RivGen® Project, Sen. Murkowski remarked, “The system being tested at Igiugig offers tremendous promise for so many of Alaska’s nearly 100 villages located along rivers to finally be able to use the power of nature’s flowing water in an economic and environmentally sensitive way. This is an important project because it could provide a blueprint for how to reduce rural electricity costs in the future."

"Igiugig Village has welcomed ORPC for another deployment season, and the community has participated in and watched each milestone with enthusiasm and support. The combination of the ORPC professionals with our local contractors has once again made an awesome team resulting in a very successful operation," said AlexAnna Salmon, Igiugig Village Council President. "The Kvichak River is now putting clean power into our local grid without a glitch and the community is triumphant!"

And Iliamna Lake Contractors Field Coordinator Christina Salmon added, "ORPC has a safe, efficient and motivated team. We have enjoyed the opportunity to work with them on the deployment of the RivGen® System."

So far, 2015 RivGen® project highlights include: the successful “self-deployment" of the modified RivGen® device using only local vessels and labor; interconnection with the Igiugig distribution grid, through which the RivGen® System is delivering about one-third of the community’s electricity needs; and demonstration of the efficacy of ORPC’s latest technological enhancements. Significant environmental interaction data is also being collected as part of the project. Notably, between July 19 and 21, approximately 1.35 million adult sockeye salmon passed by the device.

The University of Washington, a partner in the Northwest National Marine Renewable Energy Center, is again on-site in Igiugig as part of a U.S. Dept. of Energy funded project to develop advanced control systems for marine hydrokinetic devices to improve performance of such devices in turbulent current conditions.

The cost of generating electricity in Igiugig is nearly $0.80/kWh (the national average is $0.10/kWh) due to its reliance on diesel generation. This project is a critical and positive step forward in reducing the cost and environmental impacts of electricity generation in Igiugig and rural river communities of millions of people worldwide. Finding affordable energy is often key to their sustainability. The RivGen® Power System Commercialization Project is partially funded by the Denali Commission and Alaska Energy Authority.

ORPC is one of the very few companies in the world to take both tidal and river hydrokinetic power system projects from ideas to successful project operations. In 2012, ORPC made history by delivering power to the New England grid from the company’s TidGen® Power System installed in Cobscook Bay, Maine. The Cobscook Bay project was the first commercial, grid-connected hydrokinetic tidal energy project to deliver power to a utility grid in North, Central or South America. With this unique experience, ORPC also offers strategic expertise and support to other river and ocean energy projects through its subsidiary, ORPC Solutions.

In Alaska, the company has invested over $3.2 million since 2009 and has built a supply chain of over 50 partners and contractors throughout the state, including the University of Alaska at Fairbanks and Anchorage. Since 2007, ORPC’s tidal power system activities have resulted in investment of more than $26 million into the Maine economy and creation or retention of more than 100 jobs statewide in Maine.

 

Ocean Renewable Power Company, LLC is a global leader in hydrokinetic power system technology and project solutions. Worldwide it is the only company to have built, operated and delivered power to a utility grid from a hydrokinetic tidal project, and to a local microgrid from a hydrokinetic river project. ORPC is committed to working with local partners and creating local economic opportunities. For more information, visit www.orpc.co.

 

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