ACEP Receives $3.3 Million ARPA-E Award for Hydrokinetic Testing

ACEP Receives $3.3 Million ARPA-E Award for Hydrokinetic Testing

ACEP has received $3.3 million to design economically competitive hydrokinetic turbines for tidal and riverine currents.

The competitive award came from the Submarine Hydrokinetic and Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems program in the U.S. Department of Energy’s Advanced Research Projects Agency, known as ARPA-E.

The funding will be used to test the performance of the BladeRunner hydrokinetic turbine system, which could provide power to remote Alaska communities.

“ARPA-E awards are super competitive, so the fact that we were awarded one reflects well on ACEP, the UAF College of Engineering and Mines, the University of Alaska Fairbanks and our commercial partners,” said Jeremy Kasper, ACEP deputy director for research.

The project team is a mix of academic researchers and commercial partners, and the technology readiness level reflects this.

“We're not starting with CAD [computer-aided design] drawings of a brand-new idea; rather, some parts of the system have been field-tested already. This means that the technology is much closer to being usable in real-world settings than an idea that has just been developed,” Kasper added.

The award includes funding to bring in energy leaders from three communities to observe each of the four rounds of testing at the Tanana River Test Site. They’ll ask questions, provide feedback and inform improvements.

For more information on this award and this project, please contact Jeremy Kasper at


ACEP's Stephanie Fisher drives by the Tanana River Test Site near Nenana during 2020 field testing. Photo by Ben Loeffler.