Alaska Hydrokinetics Technical Conference
Wednesday, October 26th, 2011 at the Dena'ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska
Welcome to the Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC)
Investigating the power of Alaska’s rivers and oceans
Recent studies estimate that Alaska has about 40% of the total U.S. river energy resource potential and about 90% of the total U.S. tidal energy resources. Many of Alaska’s rural inland communities affected by high energy costs are situated along navigable rivers that could host hydrokinetic installations. Alaska’s Railbelt power grid extends from Homer to Fairbanks and runs along Cook Inlet, which hosts one of the best potentially developable tidal resources in the world. This has led many Alaskan communities to consider whether they can access these resources to generate electric power which has in turn driven state interest in the potential of this technology.
The Alaska Hydrokinetic Research Center (AHERC) focuses on applied research and engineering specifically related to extracting power from the kinetic energy of moving water in rivers and tidal basins.
AHERC conducts environmental and technical studies that benefit a broad cross-section of developers. Such topics include fish and marine mammal baseline studies of interest to permitting agencies, approaches to anchoring and debris mitigation, the prevalence of turbulence and its effects, and other problems common to the Alaskan hydrokinetic power generation efforts.
AHERC’s Preliminary Research Agenda
AHERC’s research agenda is focused on information needed to accelerate development, acceptance, and deployment of hydrokinetic devices. AHERC research goals will be guided by input from industry, state and federal agencies, and community stakeholders to facilitate hydrokinetic power development in Alaska.
AHERC’s primary research goals are focused on understanding the interaction of hydrokinetic turbines with Alaskan river and marine waterways and to use this knowledge to optimize performance and reduce challenges to installation, operation, and maintenance.
AHERC will continue to work with industry, agency, research, and engineering partners to define research needs, identify potential funding sources and collaboratively build research teams tailor-made for specific multi-disciplinary solutions. Not all research questions may be answered by AHERC, but AHERC will play the role, working with our partners, to keep the research agenda moving ahead and ensure findings and other data analysis are easily accessible and well communicated.
Download AHERC's strategic plan for more information.