This article describes Quincy, Ill's plans to produce power with the Mississippi River.
My first reaction: why isn't there more discussion of such projects? This is asked because over the past two decades there's been many reports of the improved efficiency of low-head generation equipment. (And that's what Quincy is discussing, low-head hydro -- hydro power that uses a small dam instead of a big one.)
The article answers my question: environmental costs, the poison that killed wind-power in North Carolina and is hitting projects everywhere that aren't proposed by someone with very deep pockets. But that's a discussion for another entry.
Besides answering my question the article also scratched a pet peeve -- stating 52 megawatts of generation could serve 52,000 homes. That's one kilowatt of electricity for each home. Despite many requests over the past decade, no one has shown me a home that can operate on one kilowatt of power.
This is a comparison the electric power industry started using in the 1970s. Or was it earlier than that? I don't know because I wasn't intersted in such things before the mid-70s. In this case, my knowledge doesn't matter, because the best estimates I've seen say this was outdated sometime in the 1960s.
A few utilities have stopped using this outdated number. But the only one I know of that has been really realistic is South Carolina's Santee Cooper.