River Power Rises

HYDROELECTRICITY AND DAMS GO HAND IN HAND--BUT THAT MAY NO LONGER HAVE TO BE THE CASE

Wayne Krouse has a seductive idea: dam-free hydropower. In a year, his start-up, Hydro Green Energy of Houston, plans to have a pair of turbines pumping electricity from under the Mississippi River at Hastings, Minn.--a town willing to give a new idea a try. "Everybody likes a science experiment, and this is just a big science experiment," says Tom Montgomery, Hastings' public-works director. The barge-mounted turbines will be unconventional, but Krouse's design yields twice the energy of earlier versions--and doesn't require new dams, which take years to license.

Krouse claims that a dozen of his generators on riverbeds in fast-moving water...

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