New form of DG? Using water pipes to generate electricity

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We're all aware of the gradual shift to distributed generation and the strains it can put on a distribution system. Utilities in sunny regions already have to worry about the proliferation of rooftop solar. The low, low price of natural gas means we're also likely to see gas-fired microturbines regain popularity. Some places are seeing backup diesel generators being hooked up to the grid as peak time resources.

 

Now a Portland, Oregon-based startup is adding a new form of distributed generation to the list -- "in-pipe hydropower" (which you can read more about in the press release on page 2). Anyone with a big pipe -- a water utility, a wastewater facility, an industrial facility, an irrigation system -- can install a system from Lucid Energy to generate electric power from the movement of the water.

Lucid Energy Announces Commercial Availability of the LucidPipeTM Power System for In-Pipe Hydropower

Renewable energy has a new, untapped resource: the water flowing in large pipelines beneath our cities, towns and agricultural areas. The first commercially available in-pipe hydropower system from Lucid Energy, the LucidPipeâ„¢ Power System, enables large users of water and electricity to produce clean, low-cost, renewable energy from water flowing through pipelines. The company opened its first Lucid Energy Center of Excellence (COE) in Riverside, California and plans are underway for COEs in Texas and New York to demonstrate the patented, in-pipe turbine technology in the LucidPipe Power System.

Portland, Oregon – March 26, 2012 – Lucid Energy, a provider of renewable energy systems and pioneer in the development of in-pipe hydropower, today announced the commercial availability of the LucidPipeâ„¢ Power System. This new, renewable energy system enables large users of energy and water –  such as municipal water and wastewater, agricultural and industrial facilities – to produce clean, reliable, low-cost electricity from their water pipelines. On April 26, the company will celebrate the completion of the first commercial LucidPipe installation and the opening of the first Lucid Energy Center of Excellence in Riverside, California, where the technology has been piloted for the past two years. Centers of Excellence are also being developed in Texas and New York to demonstrate the in-pipe hydropower technology.

Lucid Energy’s LucidPipe Power System, which was developed in conjunction with Northwest Pipe Company, is a patented, vertical axis, spherical turbine that captures energy from fast-moving water inside of large, gravity-fed water and effluent pipelines, without impacting operations. Lucid Energy is actively working with Energy Services Companies (ESCOs) and other partners, including CH2M Hill, Johnson Controls, Siemens, Honeywell and Northwest Pipe Company to commercialize and deploy the technology across North America and around the world.

CH2M Hill is currently working with Lucid Energy and the Portland Water Bureau in Portland, Oregon on three new LucidPipe installations that will provide enough energy to power up to 200-300 homes in the city over the next year.

“The LucidPipe in-pipe hydropower system is one of the most exciting new renewable energy technologies we’ve seen in years,” said Lee Odell, vice president and water treatment global technology lead for CH2M Hill. “We are excited to be working with Lucid Energy early on in the market development of this important technology.” Odell added.

The company has received inquiries from a number of municipal water districts around the country since the pilot of the LucidPipe system at Riverside Public Utilities was awarded a 2011 Outstanding Energy Management Award by the California-Nevada Section of the American Water Works Association last October. In addition to the commercial projects in Riverside and Portland, Lucid Energy and its partners are now in discussions with other municipalities including Dallas and San Antonio, Texas; Albany and New York City, New York and Toronto, Ontario, Canada to deploy the LucidPipe Power System over the next year.

“Portland has a longstanding reputation for green innovation and being a leader in smart infrastructure,” said Mayor Sam Adams of the City of Portland, Oregon. “We are proud to have Lucid Energy as part our ecosystem of leading renewable energy companies. Like all communities, we need to continue to contain our energy costs and maintain the quality of our water infrastructure; the LucidPipe Power System provides an excellent way for us to benefit by reducing our operating costs and even potentially generate additional revenue without raising rates for our citizens.”

“Over the past 10 years, we’ve all been made aware of how important energy is to our lives; but now the world is waking up to the fact that it takes a lot of energy to produce and deliver clean water and a lot of water to produce energy,” said Gregg Semler, president and CEO of Lucid Energy Inc. “The nexus of energy and water is very important to the ongoing security of any economy in the world. Lucid Energy has been developing and testing the LucidPipe Power System since 2007 and we are excited by the market’s interest in producing energy from a natural source of energy embedded in their water infrastructure,” Semler continued. “It’s amazing to see how large infrastructure companies like our partners at CH2M Hill, Siemens, Honeywell and Johnson Controls are taking their expertise in energy infrastructure and focusing on the water sector.”

About Lucid Energy

 Lucid Energy Inc. is a provider of renewable energy systems. Lucid Energy’s patented LucidPipeâ„¢ Power System enables industrial, municipal and agricultural facilities to generate clean, reliable, low-cost electricity from their gravity-fed water pipelines and effluent streams.

Lucid Energy was formed in 2007 with the mission of creating a new way for industries – particularly those that use large amounts of water and electricity – to turn the untapped energy of moving water into cost-saving, renewable energy. In 2008, Lucid formed a strategic relationship with Northwest Pipe Company (NASDAQ: NWPX), the largest manufacturer of steel water transmission pipe in the United States. The two companies collaborated on the development of the lift-based turbine design that is the foundation for the LucidPipe in-pipe hydropower system.

For more information, please go to: www.lucidenergy.com.