AREPORT BY PROFESSOR PAUL Imbertson of the University of Minnesota, US, suggests that reactivating the Park Rapids hydro power plant at Minnesota’s Fish Hook river dam is economically viable, despite the costly and involved licensing process that may be required.

The engineer has said that if the plant at the dam was retrofitted with new equipment, it could provide sufficient energy to support 100 average homes especially during critical peak demand periods.

Speaking to city officials, Imbertson said: ‘Hydro power has value, it is renewable, and is there.’ He added that although the initial cost of the project at about US$5000 per kilowatt appeared high compared to wind power, natural gas or diesel generators, hydro power requires no fuel, little maintenance and the cost of operation is very low.