Water Horse Celebrated in DOE Accomplishments Report

Water Horse Celebrated in DOE Accomplishments Report

The research collaboration between UAF researchers and Renerge Inc. to create and test a river-based device was celebrated in the 2020-2021 Accomplishments Report under the Marine Energy Program’s Technology-specific System Design and Validation category released by the U.S. Department of Energy Water Power Technologies Office. 

The water horse hydrokinetic device, tested at the Tanana River Test Site, sits above the water — as opposed to other designs that rest on or near a riverbed or seabed. This novel device submerges just one steel pipe to “gallop” in river currents. 

The report notes that “the device might not produce as much energy as other designs. However, because it is better protected and could be built with less expensive, off-the-shelf materials, it could require less maintenance and last longer in the water, making it a potentially more reliable, lower-cost, long-term source of clean energy. 

The report highlights achievements and results from WPTO-supported research, in both the hydropower and marine energy programs. The development of new tools for project developers, in-water deployments of emerging technologies, and outreach efforts in technology, engineering and math have all contributed to numerous advancements in the efforts to combat climate change through clean energy solutions. 

The water horse was not the only Alaska device mentioned. The report celebrates Igiugig’s deep community involvement.

“Critical to the success of Igiugig’s transition to clean energy is the experience and training of local community members during every stage of the project, including deployment, operations, maintenance, and retrieval of the RivGen system,” the report said.

Read the full report at https://www.energy.gov/eere/water/water-power-technologies-office-2020-2021-accomplishments-report


The water horse hydrokinetic device is tested at the Tanana River Test Site near Nenana in 2021. Photo by Amanda Byrd.