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Center Highlights In-Pipe Hydropower Systems

The recently-opened Center of Excellence celebrates an in-pipe hydropower system that has produced 8140 kWh of energy since the installation was completed.

At an event held on April 26, 2012 at Riverside Public Utilities (RPU), Lucid Energy, a provider of renewable energy systems and pioneer in the development of in-pipe hydropower, officially opened its first Center of Excellence and celebrated the first commercial installation of the LucidPipe™ Power System. The in-pipe hydropower system, which was developed in conjunction with Northwest Pipe Company, is now operating inside a 42-inch water pipeline at RPU and has produced 8140 kWh of energy since the installation of the commercial version was completed in January. The new Center of Excellence in Riverside is designed to help prospective customers, partners, academics and other industry leaders in the water and energy sectors learn about the in-pipe hydropower system and its patented, spherical, vertical axis turbine that captures energy from fast-moving water inside of pipelines to produce clean, reliable low-cost electricity.

The LucidPipe Power System, which can include one or more turbines inside a section of large-diameter (24- to 96-inch) steel water pipe, is designed for use in largLucid Energy 2e-scale municipal, agricultural and industrial gravity-fed water pipelines and effluent streams. It operates across a wide range of flow conditions, volumes and velocities with no interruption of water flow. Because it operates inside of water pipelines, there is no impact to the environment and energy output is not subject to weather conditions like many other renewable energy sources.

“This is a big day for us as we launch the first Lucid Energy Center of Excellence and celebrate the commercialization of the LucidPipe technology we’ve been developing and testing since 2007,” said Gregg Semler, president and CEO of Lucid Energy Inc. “We want to thank the U.S. Department of Energy for their ongoing support of the development of this new technology and, of course, Riverside Public Utilities, which has been a terrific partner for us in helping us bring this technology out of the lab and into a real-world waterworks environment, ensuring that the system operates reliably and predictably as we increase production and expand into new markets in the United States and around the world.”

In 2009 the U.S. Department of Energy awarded Lucid Energy a $1 million phase 1 SBIR grant to field test the LucidPipe Power System. Riverside Public Utilities, where the technology was piloted in three phases over two years, hosted today’s event at the site of the first commercial LucidPipe installation. Speakers included: Kevin Milligan, Interim Assistant General Manager – Finance for Riverside Public Utilities; Lee Odell, Water Treatment Global Technology Lead for CH2M Hill; Richard Roman, President and CEO of Northwest Pipe Company and Gregg Semler, President and CEO of Lucid Energy.

“We are proud to be on the forefront of the implementation of this innovative in-pipe hydropower system and to be setting an example for other water utilities,” said Kevin Milligan, Interim Assistant General Manager – Finance for Riverside Public Utilities. “We achieved some excellent results with our pilot installations of the LucidPipe Power System and now, with the commercial version, we’re looking forward to many years of predictable, low-cost energy that will help offset our electricity costs.”

Lucid Energy

“We are excited that so many partners, customers and industry leaders were able to join us here in Riverside to discuss the opportunities for this exciting new renewable energy source,” said Richard Roman, President and CEO of Northwest Pipe Company. “We look forward to working with Lucid Energy in bringing this technology to water utilities and other water- and energy-intensive customers across the U.S. and around the world.”

Lucid Energy is developing Centers of Excellence in other parts of North America, working with innovative water utilities, academics and industry partners like CH2M Hill, Siemens, Honeywell and Johnson Controls who are bringing their expertise in energy infrastructure to focusing on new opportunities presented by the water sector. Lucid Energy has recently agreed to terms with San Antonio Water System to begin construction of the next Lucid Energy Center of Excellence in San Antonio, Texas later this year. Lucid Energy is collaborating with the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University to design and operate a Center of Excellence in New York in the coming year. 

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