By RACHEL D’ORO
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.