The Instream Impact on Energy

//The Instream Impact on Energy

The Instream Impact on Energy

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The United States has a significant tidal resource, estimated at over 80GW (gigawatts). Alaska contains the largest number of potentially viable hydrokinetic zones followed by Maine, Washington, Oregon, California, New Hampshire, and other coastal states. The United States also has high inland potential, with 40GW of recoverable resource.

There are over 100,000 miles of canals in the US, approximately half are managed by the United States Bureau of Reclamation in the western states. Instream estimates that approximately 10% of the USBR canals could be suitable for hydrokinetic power production, representing a significant second use for existing infrastructure. Instream’s Roza Canal project with the USBR in Yakima, WA demonstrates the potential for hydrokinetic power in US canals, which could yield up to 8 GW of capacity or up to 25 TWh (Terawatt Hours) per year of clean energy.


Instream Energy Systems hydrokinetic technology presents a novel solution to the high Levelized Cost of Energy (LCOE) in the tidal energy marine and hydrokinetic (MHK) industry.  Most developers to date have pursued large-scale horizontal-axis MHK turbines that require sufficient water speeds and significant depths, thereby severely limiting potential locations for deployment. These legacy systems also have high capital cost and require costly specialized equipment for deployment and maintenance. Instream has developed a surface based, high-efficiency, scalable vertical-axis hydrokinetic turbine power generation building-block, which can be deployed in aggregate to operate at larger power plant scales. Generators and electrical equipment are mounted above water with only the turbine rotor submerged, which greatly simplifies the design and access for maintenance.

McKeon Group’s client—Instream—has successfully demonstrated its first-generation solution in two projects. Development of the second generation product (Gen 2) is already underway with BAE Systems and other design partners to commercialize the technology. The Gen 2 design phase represents a significant step in the commercial evolution of a productized power generation system, and will identify the optimum architecture for multi-unit platforms and farms.


The USBR’s Roza canal site is an ideal location to test and validate turbine system developments at near full scale. Expansion of the Roza project is focused on current technology and commercialization gaps, primarily: installation, operations and maintenance (IO&M) cost reductions, system reliability improvements, and CapEx reductions through performance optimization and component/supply chain maturation. The updated and expanded project will enable long term operational data to be collected and design architecture benefits relating to commercial CapEx and OpEx improvements to be evaluated.


The Memorial “Living Bridge” project is a joint project with the University of New Hampshire (UNH) and the Department of Transportation (DOT). The overall project is aimed at monitoring the existing bridge with an array of smart sensors to study the conditions of the infrastructure. Instream will supply a turbine that will provide a secure power source for the project using the tidal flows under the bridge. Instream will work with UNH to validate marine performance and durability of the turbine. This project provides instream with a well-supported sea-trial site in which to validate marinization of the turbine head unit.

By |2016-06-20T20:59:25+00:00June 9th, 2016|Energy|Comments Off on The Instream Impact on Energy

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