Free Flow Power has been granted rights to explore the potential for dozens of turbine locations along the 3,700 kilometre Mississippi Rriver.

The company is working on a plan to install hundreds of 40-kilowatt hydrokinetic turbines, each the size of a large jet engine, along the bottom of the River. The project developers say that this could potentially produce more than a gigawatt of electricity – enough to power 250,000 homes. There is currently just one commercial hydrokinetic river turbine in use on the Mississippi – an installation by Texas-based Hydro Green Energy near Hastings, Minnesota.

Henry Dormitzer, the company’s chief financial officer, pointed out that “The water flows in one direction, it doesn’t have salt in it, and, in the case of the Mississippi, people have spent 100 years tracking water flows and velocities.”