Hillsboro tests renewable hydropower system in city water pipes - Smart Energy Decisions

Hydro  -  October 16, 2020

Hillsboro rolls out hydropower system in city water pipes

The City of Hillsboro, Ore., announced Oct. 14 the completion of a city water pipeline project that could generate between 185,000 and 200,000 kWh of clean, renewable electricity each year.

The Hillsboro In-Pipe Hydroelectric Project was the result of a partnership between the city, Energy Trust of Oregon, Portland General Electric and InPipe Energy. The new In-PRV smart water and micro-hydro system generates clean power by harvesting excess pressure from a city water pipeline, converting that energy into electricity that is fed into the grid.

“As a growing city, we’re excited to pioneer this very practical new form of renewable energy that will help us continue to meet our climate action goals and build resilience,” Hillsboro Mayor Steve Callaway said in a statement.

The city plans to use this new renewable energy to help power the lighting, electric vehicle charging stations and concessions at Hillsboro’s Gordon Faber Recreation Complex. The project is expected to save more than 162,000 pounds of CO2 annually.

In-pipe hydropower has been used before in-large scale projects, but this new technology combines software, micro-hydro and control technology that can be installed quickly and cost-effectively in smaller-diameter pipelines and wherever pressure must be reduced.

“Water and energy are the most critical resources on the planet,” said Gregg Semler, President and CEO of InPipe Energy. “Water agencies across the country are being challenged with rising costs and aging infrastructure. Our In-PRV is a product that easily integrates into existing water pipelines and helps water agencies with both of these issues by enabling them to precisely manage pressure, save water, extend the life of their infrastructure and offset costs by producing renewable energy.”

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