University of Alaska – Tanana River Test Site



The Tanana River Test Site (TRTS) was established in 2010 by University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) Alaska Hydrokinetic Energy Research Center (AHERC), now part of the Pacific Marine Energy Center (PMEC). TRTS is a fully permitted test site on the Tanana River in Nenana, Alaska and is road accessible from both Fairbanks (55 miles) and Anchorage (300 miles). Over the past decade, TRTS has published extensively on river characterization, debris characterization and mitigation, fish studies, and turbine performance.

TRTS consists of floating infrastructure from which devices and instrumentation are deployed mid-channel.  The site’s anchored mooring systems supports loads up to 50,000 pounds.  A roughly 20 foot by 40 foot pontoon barge is the platform from which MHK systems and instrumentation are typically deployed.  The platform can be adapted for the integration of specific MHK systems.  A debris diverter system can be deployed upstream of the barge to reduce the incidence of floating debris.  Incline-plane fish trap and trawl net fishing are performed from a fishing platform positioned off the stern of the research barge.

The permitted stretch of river has been characterized based on measurements of river velocity, bathymetry, sediment transport, hydrodynamics, power density and turbulence.

Mandatory baseline fish stock studies have been completed for the site. Demonstrated technology to divert surface woody debris, a major impediment of operating devices in Alaska is available for all users.

Open water season is generally May to September. Weather driven changes in river stage, velocity, and debris prevalence should be accounted for in test planning and scheduling.

The following activities may be suitable under TEAMER:

  • Current energy converter testing and demonstration
  • Infrastructure development, testing, and demonstration
  • Environmental observation technologies
  • Hydrological measuring capabilities

Points of Contact:
Ben Loeffler –
Jeremy Kasper –