hydropower: energy derived from moving water; a potential source of sustainable power for New Orleans

New Orleanians are more familiar than most with the awesome powers of wind and water. It seems fitting, in keeping with the natural laws of the universe, that the city may one day benefit from those forces rather than board up against them.

  To that end, consider John McGowin a karmic facilitator. The energy manager for the City of New Orleans, he will present a discussion on hydropower — specifically, on the prospect of generating it locally through the use of river turbines — at 6 p.m. on Thursday, April 23, at the Alliance for Affordable Energy's BuildSmart Learning Center (1001 S. Broad St., Suite 123, 208-9761;

  The lecture will address research the city has conducted studying the viability of installing windmill-shaped turbines in the Mississippi River similar to those placed in New York City's East River in 2006-2007 by the Virginia-based company Verdant Power Inc. Verdant's two NYC turbines can generate up to 66 kilowatts of hydropower, or enough energy to run a grocery store and parking garage on nearby Roosevelt Island. The company plans to expand the project to 30 turbines by the year 2010.

  "These are relatively new technologies, in terms of the water turbines," says Christian Roselund, Alliance communications director. "We're excited to learn about this as well."

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