Free Flow Power nixes plans for five Mississippi River hydropower projects

BOSTON 5/18/12 (PennWell) -- Hydroelectric developer Free Flow Power is shelving plans that would create five hydroelectric plants on the Mississippi River between Red Wing, Minn., and Lynxville, Wis.

The Boston-based company surrendered preliminary permits May 11 that would have allowed for the construction of hydropower plants at five existing locks and dams that would have had a capacity of 8 to 15 MW.
In an interview given to Wisconsin Public Radio, Free Flow project development director Jon Guidroz says lower-than-estimated water flows and other "market forces" caused the company to reconsider. Guidroz also cited uncertainty surrounding renewable energy tax credits as a reason for dropping the projects.

Free Flow Power has retained preliminary permits to several other locks and dams on the Mississippi River -- including locations near Belleview, Clinton and Muscatine in Iowa, and Gladstone, Ill. -- that would have capacities of 17 to25 MW, making them more feasible, Guidroz says.

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