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Hydrovolts to develop hydrokinetic turbine for use in India

Hydrovolts Inc., a Seattle-based, small-scale hydropower company, announced it has received investment to develop a 25-kW hydrokinetic canal turbine for hydro-developer DLZ Corp., which is developing several hydropower projects in India.

DLZ Corp., a U.S.-based civil engineering firm, has obtained permits and a power purchase agreement to develop a 10-MW hydrokinetic power project on the 14-km Chilla Canal in northern India, which currently feeds water to a traditional hydropower plant on the Ganges River.

DLZ's initial investment of $250,000 will fund the manufacture of a prototype 25-kW hydrokinetic turbine.

Under a non-binding letter of intent between the parties, following successful demonstration and delivery of the prototype Hydrovolts turbine, DLZ could potentially order an additional 400 turbines and place them in the canal leading up to the traditional hydropower plant. Hydrovolts estimates that 400 turbines will sell for about $20 million.

The Hydrovolts Flipwing floating turbine operates like a submerged paddlewheel and is simple to deploy and connect: it just drops in the water and is either tethered or anchored.

Electricity generated by the turbine is sent to shore by a power cable linked to the tether. No dams or significant site preparation are needed, reducing costs and minimizing environmental impacts. The turbine is safe for fish because its paddlewheel blades turn slower than the water current, Hydrovolts said.

In other news, the U.S. Department of Energy has designated the Center for Ocean Energy Technology at Florida Atlantic University a national center for ocean energy research and development, naming it the Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center.

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