Lucid Energy turns water into electricityStaff writer ▼ | February 23, 2015
The Portland Water Bureau (PWB) and Lucid Energy "flipped the switch," reported PennEnergy. The LucidPipe Power System uses the flow of water inside a PWB pipeline to spin four 42" turbines to produce electricity for Portland General Electric.
Lucid solution LucidPipe can operate across a range of flow conditions
Several LucidPipe systems can be installed into a single pipeline; LucidPipe systems can be deployed three to four turbine diameters apart, so up to four LucidPipe units can be installed in a standard 40-foot section of pipe. The company said on their website that one mile of 42" diameter pipeline could produce as much as 3 megawatts or more of electricity.
As the water flows through, it spins four 42-inch (107-cm) turbines, each one of which is hooked up to a generator on the outside of the pipe. The presence of the turbines reportedly doesn't slow the water's flow rate significantly, so there's virtually no impact on pipeline efficiency.
The company said this was the first project in the U.S. to secure a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement (PPA) for renewable energy produced by in-pipe hydropower in a municipal water pipeline.
The project will generate approximately $2 million worth of renewable energy capacity over the PPA period that is used to pay for the development, installation and ongoing operational costs. After 20 years, the PWB will have the right to own the system and all the energy it produces, said the company. ■