Murkowski Welcomes FERC Approval of Alaskan Marine Renewable Energy Project

U.S. Sen. Lisa Murkowski, R-Alaska, today announced the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has approved the final installation and operation of a river marine renewable energy (MRE) project in Igiugig, Alaska, under a pilot permit.

“I am so pleased this project will be able to move forward, reducing local diesel consumption and energy prices,” Murkowski said. “Igiugig’s efforts are blazing a trail for marine renewable energy and microgrid solutions around the world – when we prove these technologies can work in rural Alaska, we are proving they can work just about anywhere else on the planet.”

The Igiugig MRE Project will produce emission-free electricity by converting the energy of river currents into a reliable source of electricity. The Igiugig Village Corporation (IVC) is the first tribal entity in the United States to achieve this approval. IVC and the Ocean Renewable Power Company (ORPC), based in Maine, have collaborated on the MRE project since 2009.

FERC approval was achieved through the agency’s pilot license process, established to encourage development of innovative hydrokinetic technology while ensuring appropriate environmental monitoring is in place. The first-of-its-kind RivGen Power System project is scheduled to be installed later this summer once permits from the Alaska Department of Fish and Game, Alaska Department of Natural Resources, and Alaska Lake and Peninsula Borough are approved.

The FERC order can be found here.

Murkowski is chairman of both the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources and the Interior-Environment Appropriations Subcommittee, and has championed grant funding to help make this project a reality.

Related Issues: Energy