Lucid Energy, a Portland, OR-based hydrokinetics start-up company, has pioneered what it calls a “water-to-wire energy recovery solution” that allows large, gravity-fed pipes to moonlight as electric power plants.
The LucidPipe Power System produces electric power from an in-pipe turbine that harvests energy from the flow of water inside large gravity-fed pipes. By extracting excess head pressure, the turbines are not supposed to impede the the flow of water. A single turbine can produce as much as 100 kilowatts of electricity. Fully-loaded with a series of LucidPipe Power turbines, a single pipeline can produce more than a megawatt of electricity at a levelized cost between five to nine cents per kilowatt-hour.