A company called Lucid Energy has already installed four underground turbines in Portland’s water pipes and connected them to the grid. They produce enough energy to power over 150 local homes from what they call “in-pipe hydropower.”
Green energy is all about trying to find innovative ways to tap into energy where it already flows. Given the amount of water that flows through the underground pipelines in the United States, it’s pretty safe to say that there’s an abundant amount of hydroelectricity down there. For some reason though it took until just recently for us to realize it.
But it seems that a new age of innovation has been ushered in by the drastic need for change. And this has started in Portland, Oregon, of all places, proving that the city does in fact have legitimate careers available aside from that of coffee barista.
While hydroelectricity often has negative environmental effects, these underground turbines have no such consequences.
While so far this may be a small project, Lucid Energy has very big plans with their in-pipe hydropower tech. It would like to spread its system as far and wide as possible, and as long as the system in Portland remains reliable it will have the potential to be spread nationwide. The only problem is getting those pesky pipes to stop leaking in old pipe systems, which may need to be upgraded first.