Renewable Energy for the RiverSphere

EPA Grant Number: SU831891
Title: Renewable Energy for the RiverSphere
Investigators: McLachlan, John , Meffert, Doug , Pandian, Shunmugham R.
Current Investigators: McLachlan, John , Culley, Briarme , Davey, Elizabeth , Etheridge, Daniel , Manasse, Colin , Meffert, Doug , Pace, Cassandra , Pandian, Shunmugham R.
Institution: Tulane University of Louisiana
EPA Project Officer: Nolt-Helms, Cynthia
Phase: I
Project Period: September 15, 2004 through September 14, 2005
Project Amount: $9,779
RFA: P3 Awards: A National Student Design Competition for Sustainability Focusing on People, Prosperity and the Planet (2004) RFA Text |  Recipients Lists
Research Category: P3 Challenge Area - Energy , Pollution Prevention/Sustainable Development , P3 Awards , Sustainability


Identifying and implementing the most effective renewable energy techniques for the southern Louisiana region is critical to the sustainability of the region in the near future.


We have been asked to design a renewable energy system for the RiverSphere, an environmental education and research center on the Mississippi River in downtown New Orleans, and, in particular, to consider the use of low-speed mini-turbines in the river. A thorough review of feasible renewable energy systems will be conducted; after considering which the best renewable energy system for our location, a system will designed for the site. This project will conduct a locally oriented analysis of renewable energy for a state that has few renewable energy systems or experts, and could also design an environmentally benign hydropower system that would be adaptable to locations on the Mississippi and other rivers. The development of renewable energy is an important part of sustainability in Louisiana in multiple ways. Louisiana has much to lose from climate change, and reducing the greenhouse has emissions of the state would do much to help the communities in the region. New technologies will provide job options for an area that has failing economy and is reliant on fossil-fuel extraction as a major industry. Finally, as Louisiana produces about 1% of the world’s greenhouse gas emission, it is essential that Louisiana discover a way to reduce these emissions. This project will produce a report that isolates the most feasible technology based on cost-benefit, efficiency, energy production, and environmental savings. IT will also produce a technical design that utilizes this technology. Through it s incorporation into the RiverSphere, the project will educate children, the general public, and the university students; it will give the student team experience working in renewable energy systems and working on a multidisciplinary team.

Supplemental Keywords:

water, global climate change, ecological effects, clean technologies, industry, renewable, cost benefit analysis, engineering, Gulf Coast, Louisiana., RFA, Scientific Discipline, Air, INTERNATIONAL COOPERATION, Sustainable Industry/Business, POLLUTION PREVENTION, cleaner production/pollution prevention, Energy, climate change, Air Pollution Effects, Environmental Engineering, Atmosphere, environmental monitoring, energy conservation, water powered turbines, cleaner production, green design, environmentally friendly technology, low speed mini-turbines, clean technology, RiverSphere, emission controls, energy efficiency, engineering, pollution prevention design, alternative energy source, outreach and education, green technology, renewable resource, environmentally conscious design

Relevant Websites: Exit

Project Description

Progress and Final Reports:

  • Final Report