ORPC’s RivGen® Power System Wins 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award
Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2016) – The National Hydropower Association (NHA) today announced Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC) RivGen® Power System Commercialization Project received the 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW) Award in the category of Operational Excellence. ORPC is the first marine energy company to receive the OSAW Award.
Ocean Renewable Power Company’s RivGen® Power System Wins 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Award
ORPC is the first marine energy company to receive the OSAW Award
Washington, D.C. (April 26, 2016) – The National Hydropower Association (NHA) today announced Ocean Renewable Power Company’s (ORPC) RivGen® Power System Commercialization Project received the 2016 Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW) Award in the category of Operational Excellence.
The category of Operational Excellence recognizes waterpower projects that add value to the industry through technical contributions, innovation, engineering, upgrades and improvements, or technology breakthroughs for new hydropower or marine hydrokinetic technologies.
The RivGen® Power System is a submersible hydrokinetic system designed for rivers and shallow tidal applications in water depths of 15 ft or more, including those in remote, off-grid communities. As part of ORPC’s 2015 project, the RivGen® System successfully demonstrated supplying one-third of the electrical power needs of the remote Alaskan Village of Igiugig, located on the Kvichak River in the southwestern part of the state.
This project was the second installation of ORPC power systems in Alaska and served as a crucial step in proving viability of the technology for remote river sites, providing a new energy source for rural communities worldwide.
“NHA is pleased to present ORPC with the OSAW Award for Operational Excellence – the first marine energy company to receive this distinction,” said Linda Church Ciocci, Executive Director, NHA. “Remote communities like the Alaskan Village of Igiugig, often have to rely on fossil fuels like diesel to generate electricity. ORPC’s RivGen® Power System is working to be a clean, innovative and affordable energy option for communities worldwide. As the marine energy sector moves forward, it is projects like ORPC’s RivGen® Commercialization Project that are leading the way.”
“ORPC is deeply honored to receive the OSAW Award for Operational Excellence,” said Chris Sauer, President & CEO, ORPC. “We are indebted to the community of Igiugig, our Alaska project team, state and federal regulators, and to the Denali Commission, Alaska Energy Authority, U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Department of Energy and private investors, whose support made this achievement possible.”
The RivGen® Power System provides three distinct and important benefits to remote communities: lower, stable electricity generation costs; dramatic reductions in carbon footprint and environmental impact; and long term economic development. 2
During operations, over 1.5 million adult sockeye salmon migrated upstream past the RivGen® device with no evidence of fish injuries, mortalities, or passage delay of upstream migrating salmon. The data collected was so voluminous that the Energy Department allocated new funds to the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory to analyze the full data set and develop automation tools for future use by the industry.
The project was partially funded by the Denali Commission and the Alaska Energy Authority and based upon work supported by the National Institute of Food and Agriculture, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Small Business Innovation Research Grants Program. The U.S. Department of Energy also provided funding, and recently awarded the Village of Igiugig a grant to further advance the design and operation of the RivGen® Power System.
About the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters Awards
In 1994, the c (NHA) created the Hydro Achievement Awards to recognize organizations and projects committed to excellence in the development and operation of hydropower. In 1999, NHA added the Outstanding Stewardship of America’s Rivers (OSAR) Report to profile the best examples of hydropower’s ability to generate clean, renewable, reliable and affordable electricity while protecting the riverine ecosystem. Beginning in 2007, these two recognition programs were merged to more effectively provide recognition to deserving organizations and to reflect the changing nature of the hydropower industry, particularly the fact that hydropower can be used in various waterways. The new award program is called the Outstanding Stewards of America’s Waters (OSAW).
OSAW Awards are given out in three distinct categories:
- Operational Excellence: projects that add value to the hydropower industry through technical contributions, innovation, engineering, upgrades and improvements, or technology breakthroughs for new hydropower technologies.
- Recreational, Environmental & Historical Enhancement: projects that provide enhanced recreational opportunities for the general public, offer measurable benefits that mitigate, conserve, preserve, or enhance the natural resources, or conserve historical aspects of hydropower facilities and their integration with the surrounding community.
- Public Education: programs that effectively communicate and promote the benefits of hydropower through mediums such as curriculum, learning centers, videos or outreach programs.