Water bureau teams up with energy company on new reservoir

Water bureau teams up with energy company on new reservoir

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by Joe Smith, KGW business reporter

kgw.com

Posted on September 25, 2013 at 6:11 PM

Updated Wednesday, Sep 25 at 7:26 PM

PORTLAND -- The Portland Water Bureau is taking advantage of new technology developed here in the Rose City. It not only keeps the water flowing, but creates electricity at the same time.

It's all part of the city's overall $150 million Powell Butte Reservoir 2 project, which is a major upgrade to how most of Portland’s drinking water gets to your home.

Now it will have the added value to generate electricity as the water flows.

On Wednesday, the first commercial application of Portland-based Lucid Energy's turbine technology was being installed along 65 feet of pipe at Southeast 147th Avenue and Powell Boulevard.

When the project is complete, it will generate enough electricity for 150 homes around the clock. This is a private/public partnership with the city.

Lucid Energy is funding the $2 million project and will share the revenue from the electricity sold to PGE with the water bureau.

“Energy is the single large cost, so if we can recapture energy that's already embedded in the flow, we can reduce the cost for everyone who needs it,” said Gregg Semler, president of Lucid Energy.

This is the first commercial application of the system, and already it's getting notice from others. Utility companies in Australia want to learn more about the system.

Lucid energy sees more applications for the technology for companies that use huge amounts of water and also for use in agriculture.

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