On April 24, 2008, and supplemented on April 30, September 26, November 7, and November 13, 2008, the City of Hastings, Minnesota (City), licensee for the 4.4-megawatt (MW) Mississippi Lock and Dam No. 2 Hydroelectric Project (FERC No. 4306), filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Commission or FERC) to amend its license to install two 35-killowatt (kW) HGE hydrokinetic turbines (operating capacity) in the project’s tailrace. The Commission granted an order amending the license on December 13, 2008 and authorized the installation of the first hydrokinetic turbine in U.S. history on December 23, 2008.
Article 65 of the FERC order (125 FERC ¶ 61,287) required the licensee to develop a Fish Entrainment and Survival Monitoring Plan (Plan). This Plan was filed with FERC and accepted by FERC on April 29, 2009. In accordance with the Plan, a Fish Survival and Injury Study was completed on June 13, 2009 to provide estimates of fish survival and injury (item 1 in Article 65) and to estimate predation (item #2 in Article 65).
The survival and injury of fish passed through the HGE hydrokinetic turbine was directly assessed using the HI-Z Turb’N tag (i.e., HI-Z tag) direct recapture technique. The turbine was tested while the conventional hydropower units were at maximum discharge. Procedures for handling, tagging, release, and recapture of the test fish were identical for treatment (passed through the turbine) and control groups (passed downstream of the turbine). All fish releases occurred between 5 and 11 June 2009.