The need for modern societies to move beyond fossil fuels and develop renewable energy alternatives is undeniable. Towards those efforts, city planners of the world should keep an eye on what’s happening in Portland, Oregon.
The city has partnered with a company called Lucid Energy to generate clean electricity for the city by utilizing the water already flowing beneath the city.
A section of Portland’s water system was replaced by pipes designed by Lucid Energy that contain four 42″ turbines. As the water flows through the pipes under the city’s streets, the turbines spin and provide energy that is put into the city’s electrical grid.
Lucid Energy says this will be “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.” One big advantage that this type of energy-generating system has is that it isn’t affected by the weather, like solar and wind power are.
The water must be moved by gravity because the energy required to pump water through pipes would make the energy generated by this technology pointless. In other words, cities with an abundance of hills will be the winners with this technology.
When the project is complete it is supposed to generate power to up to 150 homes. While that might not sound like a lot, it is a great start for what is basically a brand new technology.
Take a look at this video to learn more about the project.
Hopefully, city planners and civic leaders around the country are paying attention to what’s going on in Portland.