11:11am

Wed June 27, 2012
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Inventor Hopes to Harness the Mississippi to Generate Power

MEMPHIS, Tenn (AP/WMOT) — A West Tennessee inventor has won a $125,000 grant from the state to develop a water turbine that he says will harness the power of the Mississippi River to generate electricity.

Geoff Greene of Memphis invented a slow-turning turbine that will transfer power into the local electricity grid. Using the grant and private funds, Greene plans to build a prototype to conduct reliability testing in the Mississippi later this summer.

“There’s a whole lot of energy in the river, but it’s not very condensed. So you have to have a pretty big turbine to get some power out of it. So our 30 foot turbine, we can make 130 kilowatts of power. That’s enough power to power a 100 houses continuously.”

This is considered a "green" project because the turbine's construction materials are environmentally safe and it doesn’t pose a danger to marine life.

More than $2 million in clean energy grants are slated for 17 communities in Tennessee.