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December 19, 2012

Oregon to have its first in-pipe hydroelectric system

Gerald Ondrey

The City of Portland, Oregon and Lucid Energy (Portland, Ore.; www.lucidenergy.com), have reached an agreement and are set to begin construction of the city’s first in-pipe hydropower renewable-energy system. The LucidPipe Power System project, which is slated for completion in June 2013, will help the city meet its Climate Action Plan goals and reinforce Portland’s status as a global leader in renewable energy and green innovation.

The Portland Water Bureau, the City of Portland, Oregon and Lucid Energy a provider of renewable energy systems and pioneer in the development of in-pipe hydropower, today announced that Lucid Energy and the Portland Water Bureau have agreed to terms and are set to begin the permitting process for construction of the city’s first in-pipe hydroelectric system. The LucidPipe Power System (for more information, see Chem. Eng., December 2011; http://www.che.com/chementator/8734.html), which will be installed in a section of large-diameter, gravity-fed water pipeline beneath the city, uses a unique, in-conduit turbine that spins as water passes through it, producing clean, reliable, low-cost electricity with no impact on the environment or water delivery. The project will be the first LucidPipe system in Portland and will help the city meet its Climate Action Plan goals to facilitate the installation of at least 10 MW of on-site renewable energy.

In October 2011 Lucid Energy signed an MOU with the Portland Water Bureau, the Portland Development Commission (PDC) and the City of Portland, Oregon to partner on the development of an urban hydroelectric system within the city. The first LucidPipe Power System installation is slated for completion in June 2013 and, once completed, will produce enough electricity to power an estimated150 homes.

“We are looking forward to breaking ground on this in-pipe hydropower system in Portland,” says City of Portland Mayor Sam Adams. “And we are excited to be working with Lucid Energy, a local company, to showcase the green innovation happening here — innovation that furthers Portland’s reputation as a global leader in clean energy and environmental technologies.

“Water and energy are closely linked; it takes a lot of electricity to deliver safe, clean drinking water,” says David Shaff, Portland Water Bureau administrator. “The LucidPipe system provides a new way for us, as a water bureau, to generate electricity from our biggest asset and reduce the cost of delivery for our customers.”

“We are very pleased to kick-off the first LucidPipe project in Portland,” says Gregg Semler, president and CEO of Lucid Energy Inc. “We're seeing a lot of interest in our product from communities and water utilities around the world, so it's exciting that Portland will be among the first to complete an installation. It really speaks to Portland's understanding about the importance of the convergence of water and energy in building a sustainable economy and it will set an example for water agencies all over the world who, like Portland, are looking to reduce energy costs and embrace clean energy and smart water innovation,” Semler added.

Lucid Energy’s in-pipe hydropower systems are targeted at large water users such as municipal water and wastewater systems, agriculture irrigation districts and water-intensive industries. The system is environmentally-friendly because it operates inside of pipelines, and, unlike many other renewable energy sources, the energy output from LucidPipe is consistent, predictable and not subject to weather conditions.

Portland’s in-pipe hydropower system will be the second major LucidPipe installation. Earlier this year Lucid Energy announced the installation of a LucidPipe Power System in Riverside, California and plans are also underway to install another system in San Antonio Water System in Texas in early 2013.

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