In-pipe Hydropower Produces Clean, Renewable Energy

PRESS RELEASE – January 20, 2015 11:00 AM Eastern Standard Time

The Portland Water Bureau “Put a Turbine In It” and began generating renewable energy for Portland General Electric earlier this month

The in-pipe hydropower system will generate $2 million worth of clean electricity over 20 years, in Portland, Oregon.

The new four-turbine LucidPipe™ Power System project in Portland, Oregon is the first in the U.S. to secure a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy from in-pipe hydropower.
The new four-turbine LucidPipe™ Power System project in Portland, Oregon is the first in the U.S. to secure a 20-year Power Purchase Agreement for renewable energy from in-pipe hydropower. Image courtesy of LucidEnergy.

PORTLAND, Ore.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–The Portland Water Bureau (PWB) and Lucid Energy, a provider of renewable energy systems for in-pipe hydropower and smart water infrastructure, have flipped the switch, officially turning one of the city’s major water pipelines into a generator of renewable energy.

The LucidPipe™ Power System uses the gravity-fed flow of water inside a PWB pipeline to spin four 42” turbines that are now producing electricity for Portland General Electric (PGE) customers under a 20-year power purchase agreement (PPA) with the utility, helping promote renewable power development and resource diversity for Oregon.

LucidEnergy three-turbine system. Image for illustrative purposes only. Image courtesy of LucidEnergy.
LucidEnergy three-turbine system. Image for illustrative purposes only. Image courtesy of LucidEnergy.

The system, which was installed at no cost to PWB or the City of Portland, is the first project in the U.S. to secure a 20-year PPA for renewable energy produced by in-pipe hydropower in a municipal water pipeline.

The Water Bureau welcomed the opportunity to explore the innovative use of a Portland pipe delivering water to create hydroelectric power as well. — Water Bureau Administrator David Shaff

The system will begin full energy production within the next two months. LucidPipe has been tested and Certified by NSF International to NSF/ANSI Standard 61 for use in potable water systems. It does not disrupt pipeline operations and has no environmental impact.

PGE’s goal is to be our customers’ partner in helping to build a reliable, affordable and sustainable energy future for Oregon.

We’re pleased to integrate new generating technologies and applications like this into our system when they offer cost-effective solutions for our customers and the environment. — Brett Sims, PGE director of origination, structuring and resource strategy

The Portland LucidPipe system was fully financed in October 2014 with capital from Harbourton Alternative Energy, a subsidiary of Harbourton Enterprises.

The Water Bureau welcomed the opportunity to explore the innovative use of a Portland pipe delivering water to create hydroelectric power as well [as delivering water].

Water and energy are closely linked. The Lucid pipe system provides a way for the Water Bureau to contribute to generating electricity for our community in a clean, low-cost and renewable way. — David Shaff, Water Bureau Administrator

The project will generate approximately $2 million worth of renewable energy capacity over the 20-year PPA period, enough electricity for more than 150 homes in Portland. The Portland Water Bureau and Harbourton will share in the revenue.

After 20 years, PWB will have the right to own the system and all the energy it produces.

Water agencies are looking for ways to be more energy efficient, energy utilities are seeking more renewable sources of energy and investors are seeking opportunities in smart water and energy infrastructure.

The industry is looking to Portland as an example of how all of these entities can partner to take advantage of in-pipe hydropower to generate investment returns and reduce the cost of delivering clean, safe drinking water. — Gregg Semler, President and CEO, Lucid Energy, Inc.

The first installation of the LucidPipe Power System is at Riverside Public Utilities in Riverside, California. Lucid Energy is currently exploring opportunities with municipalities, water agencies and renewable energy investors from around the world.

Lucid Energy has secured private funding from a very active syndicate of investors including Northwest Pipe Company, the Israeli hybrid venture capital/crowdsourcing platform OurCrowd, Star Energy and the Harbourton Fund as well as more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy. The funding is being used to accelerate commercialization of the LucidPipe Power System worldwide.

Close-up of the LucidPipe Power System turbine. Renewable energy from municipal water supply systems. Image courtesy of LucidEnergy.
Close-up of the LucidPipe Power System turbine. Renewable energy from municipal water supply. Image courtesy of LucidEnergy.

About Lucid Energy

Lucid Energy, Inc. is a provider of renewable energy and smart water management solutions that improve the economics of delivering water. Lucid Energy’s patented LucidPipe™ 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 codeveloped the technology with Northwest Pipe Company (NASDAQ: NWPX), the largest manufacturer of steel water transmission pipe in the United States. www.lucidenergy.com.

Norway Alta Dam project considers indigenous Sami people’s rights

Alta Hydro-electric dam project in Norway
The Alta hydro-electric dam project in Norway faced stiff opposition from the indigenous Sami people as far back as the late 1970’s. The government of Norway later acceded to their wishes, building a dam with lower capacity and therefore less impact on the Sami people and the local ecosystem which they depend on for their livelihood.

‘Fight for your rights!’ – Norway’s indigenous Sami people encourage Sarawak dam opposition

Sami Television and Norway’s state radio, NRK, report on Malaysian delegation’s visit to the controversial Alta Dam hydropower plant in Northern Norway

ALTA & KARASJOK, Norway, May 26, 2014 –/WORLD-WIRE/– The Malaysian anti-dam coalition, SAVE Rivers, visited the controversial Alta Dam in the North of Norway late this week. The Alta Dam faced strong opposition in the late 1970s and 1980s by the indigenous people of the Sami.

Tore Bongo, one of the leaders of the uprising, advised SAVE Rivers in solidarity with their current struggle against Sarawak’s twelve planned dams: “You must not be afraid to fight. You need to be willing to negotiate, but above all, you need to fight.”

SAVE Rivers’ three-person delegation is chaired by SAVE Rivers Chairman Peter Kallang and comprises Maria Ajang from Long Palai and Lah Jok from Long Liam, two villages affected by the planned Baram Dam.

The Malaysian delegation’s visit in Northern Norway found significant media interest and was covered by Norway’s state radio, NRK, and the Sami television station, Oddasat.

Watch and listen to the reports under the following links:
http://tv.nrk.no/serie/oddasat-tv/sany80052314/23-05-2014
http://radio.nrk.no/serie/her-og-naa-hovedsending/dmnh01010214/22-05-2014#t=48m47s

Sami representative Tore Bongo said the struggle against the Alta Dam went down in history as a turning point in the Norwegian government’s policy towards the Sami. First of all, the size of the dam was considerably reduced and no village was flooded. Second, after the uprising, the government started to respect the Sami’s rights as indigenous people.

Many new laws have been established since the Alta struggle, allowing the Sami to live and develop their culture and traditions. In 1989, the Sami established their own Parliament in Karasjok.

Sami Parliament representative, Silje Karine Muotka, gave the Malaysian delegation a special reception and a tour through the parliament building.

Maria Ajang from Sarawak expressed her admiration for the Sami’s struggle: “I am impressed how strongly the Sami have fought for the protection of their culture, language and land. They have never hesitated, but fought for their future.”

The exchange between the natives from Sarawak and Norway was perceived as very fruitful on both sides. Indigenous peoples in both countries have faced similar threats to their land, tradition and culture. In Norway, however, things have changed to the better for the Sami, while the traditional livelihoods of Sarawak’s indigenous peoples remain precarious and discriminated.

Peter Kallang, Chairman of SAVE Rivers, commented the situation of Norway’s indigenous people positively: “The Norwegian government is seriously committed to protect the culture and the rights of the Sami who are a minority. The government really allows the Sami to determine their way of life.”

Sarawak representative Lah Jok made his demand clear: “The Malaysian government should respect the rights of the indigenous peoples just as the Norwegian government does.”

The visit to the Alta Dam and the meeting with the Sami marked the end of SAVE Rivers’ two-week-tour through Europe which successfully highlighted the plight of Sarawak’s indigenous people against twelve planned dams in Borneo.

The Swiss-based Bruno Manser Fund (BMF) is committed to protecting the threatened tropical rainforests and the rights of the indigenous forest peoples. The association’s focus lies on Sarawak, the Malaysian state in Borneo. The Bruno Manser Fund was founded by Swiss rainforest advocate Bruno Manser, who has been missing since his last trip to Sarawak in May 2000.

100% Renewable Energy Is Goal For Philippines Province Palawan

by Jake Richardson

Palawan, Philippines. Image: Andrew Lillis
Palawan, Philippines. Image Credit: Andrew Lillis

Palawan is one of the Philippines natural wonders, with many tourists visiting every year. The island province is not connected to the national grid and is completely dependent upon imported diesel and bunker fuel to generate electricity.

These fuels are known to have significant emissions and can contribute to noxious air pollution. Additionally, blackouts and brownouts have been too common, and some residents don’t have access to reliable electricity sources. Power also costs about twice much in Palawan as it does in Manila.

So, moving towards being energy independent by using renewable sources is a great new direction. “Palawan is so much better off than the rest of the Philippines. Palawan is the last ecological frontier. It can prove if we can live sustainably. It can be a model to follow,” explained World Wide Fund for Nature Philippines leader Lory Tan. (Source: Rappler)

Currently, a proposed hydropower plant would partially help them reach their renewable energy goals, and create jobs. It would save money by generating power that would not need to be produced by burning imported fossil fuels and it would reduce CO2 emissions.

Palawan is a long, thin island province measuring about 280 miles long and 31 miles wide, with a human population of 771,000. There are well over 1,000 miles of coastline, mountainous areas, virgin forests, and clear waters for diving and snorkeling. There are also about 11,000 square kilometers of coral reefs. Over two hundred endemic species live there as well.

Agriculture and fishing are two of the economic staples, with a growing tourism industry due to the idyllic natural resources. So, switching to renewable energy sources makes good sense both for public health and ecological reasons. When Palawan becomes a green province, it will probably become an effective selling point for tourism. Currently, the Philippines employs geothermal and biomass as their top renewables.

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This article, 100% Renewable Energy Is Goal For Philippines Province Palawan, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Jake Richardson Hello, I have been writing online for some time, and enjoy the outdoors. If you like, you can follow me on Google Plus: https://plus.google.com/u/0/103554956530757893412/

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Old Iron Mine Repurposed For New Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity

by Tina Casey

.

Bell Island Iron Mine by The Tedster

A company called Moriah Hydro Corp. hopes to build a gigantic, 260 megawatt pumped storage hydroelectric facility in upstate New York, and it will use a series of abandoned, interconnected iron mines to do the job. That’s a nifty approach that gets around one of the sticky issues involved in pumped storage, which is where to find sites for massive new reservoirs. That still leaves the question of what kind of energy will be stored, but let’s take a closer look at the project and see what’s what.

The Mineville Pumped Hydro Project

For those of you new to the topic, a pumped storage facility simply recycles the same water between an upper reservoir and a lower reservoir, rather than letting it run down a river as in a conventional hydroelectric facility.

The new facility, called the Mineville Pumped Storage Project, gets a good rundown from writer Barry Cassell at generationhub.com. You can also get more details from the project’s Federal Energy Regulatory Commission filing in the Federal Register.

According to Cassell, the new reservoirs would be contained completely within the existing mines and existing tunnels will be used to channel the flow. The powerhouse will also be constructed underground.

In other words, there will be minimal disruption to the existing landscape. That’s accord with another pumped storage project that recently caught our attention, at Glyn Rhonwy in Wales.

The powerhouse for the Welsh project will be located in an existing brownfield site, and it will use existing abandoned quarries for storage. However, the quarries have already been repurposed for recreational climbing and hiking, and some (but not all) of the trails will be lost when the new facility is built.

Clean Energy For Pumped Hydro

The Mineville project is off to a good start in terms of land use. As for the energy needed to do the pumping, pumped storage is notable because it is the only utility-scale energy storage technology in common use today, with hundreds of facilities around the world, and because it is ideal for storing intermittent energy sources, particularly wind (the Glyn Rhonwy project, for example, is specifically designed to store energy from a nearby wind farm).

Another notable aspect of pumped hydro is its use of existing, proven technology; namely, pumps and turbines, which means that the main obstacle is finding suitable sites for new facilities rather than the development of transformational technology.

One approach would be to use existing dams for new pumped storage facilities, which in the US would mean hundreds of potential sites.

On the other hand, at least one novel approach to pumped hydro overcomes the land use obstacle, by employing a pair of parallel, vertical shafts rather than using open surface reservoirs.

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This article, Old Iron Mine Repurposed For New Pumped Storage Hydroelectricity, is syndicated from Clean Technica and is posted here with permission.

About the Author

Tina Casey Tina Casey specializes in military and corporate sustainability, advanced technology, emerging materials, biofuels, and water and wastewater issues. Tina’s articles are reposted frequently on Reuters, Scientific American, and many other sites. You can also follow her on Twitter @TinaMCasey and Google+.

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A time to catch the Sun

by John Brian Shannon

“To Everything (Turn, Turn, Turn)
There is a season (Turn, Turn, Turn)
And a time to every purpose, under Heaven”

The Byrds

And so it is time — as a number of energy variables have changed.
Only 3% of America’s existing 80,000 dams, presently have electrical generators attached to them. Yes, you read right!
What could be better than 100% of America’s dams producing clean electricity — instead of only 3% — thereby adding 77,600 more dams to the U.S. hydroelectric power grid?
Run of river dam
Bonneville Dam, Oregon, Washington, Columbia River (Photo credit: photolibrarian)

Here are some other factors that you may want to consider.

  1. The 80% price drop for solar panels over the past 30 months. (Solar power is now priced comparably to other electricity)
  2. The dramatic fall of wind turbine prices.
  3. Two new laws signed by U.S. President Obama which will allow most of America’s hydro-electric dam operators to add electrical power generation equipment to existing dams.
  4. Run-of-River(small-scale) dams to be built, to produce electrical power in rivers which have yet to be tapped for power. These dams essentially section off some of the water running down the river, using a berm to sequester some of the flow, to direct it to turbines and electrical generators. Meanwhile, the rest of the river continues flowing unaffected. Think of a berm which directs 1/3rd of the river water off to the side, which then runs down through pipes and turbines to produce electrical power.
  5. Pumped Storage simplified. Think of a regular hydroelectric dam — the water flows down through the dam, the generator in the dam produces electricity. Simple enough. But with pumped storage, a water collection system below the turbines pumps the water back uphill behind the dam for reuse at a later time. Up ’till now, it has been hideously expensive to do that, as the cost to pump a million gallons of water uphill each day, was more than the dollars generated by the water as it ran downhill through the turbines in the first place! But now that solar power and wind power have become so competitively-priced, it is natural that they should be installed beside hydro-electric dams to provide power for pumped storage. If much of the water that spills over the dam produces electrical power — then pumping it back up behind the dam cheaply, means it can be used again and again to produce power. Solar panels (during the daylight hours) and wind turbines (at night) can provide the low-cost electricity to send the water back uphill into the reservoir.

Ready for some GigaWatt math?
a) Add electrical power generation to the 77,600 American dams that presently do not produce any electrical energy.
b) Add Pumped Storage units to ALL 80,000 of America’s dams.
c) Add Run of River electrical power generation complete with Pumped Storage to the country’s rivers. The potential number of R-of-R electrical power generation sites could be as high as 50,000.
If you add up all the potential power generation capacity of a, b, and c, it becomes a very large calculation, and you might find it is your “Turn, Turn, Turn” to buy a larger calculator!
By taking this clear and logical path, the U.S.A. would take a huge forward leap in its clean energy production and thereby allow some deteriorating coal and nuclear power plants to be quietly retired.
If you are a clean energy advocate and want to write to your member of Congress, tell them you want;
  • Electrical power generators ADDED to all existing 80,000 U.S. dams — which is 77,600 more than today
  • Pumped Storage ADDED to all 80,000 American dam sites
  • RUN OF RIVER hydroelectric power plants with Pumped Storage built right into new R-of-R plants
JOHN BRIAN SHANNON

To follow John Brian Shannon on social media – place a check-mark beside your choice of Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn: FullyFollowMe/johnbrianshannon