Cities pursue micro-hydropower

A project in Portland will be the the latest to install a micro-hydroelectric system in city water facilities in an attempt to offset electricity costs.

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The Portland Water Bureau is working on a project that would install a micro-hydroelectric system in a city water tank, to see if such a system could help offset electricity costs.

The system uses jets of water and a turbine to create electricity, and the Water Bureau thinks it could help the city’s transition to green energy.

If micro-hydroelectric systems could be installed at each of the Water Bureau’s 500 pressure-reducing valves, Portland could seemingly take a giant step in meeting its clean energy needs. But according to Judd Jorgensen, senior renewable energy project manager with Energy Trust of Oregon, a system can’t be installed just anywhere.

“Only some locations have enough water flowing and enough pressure to make a project economically viable,” Jorgensen said. “Some cities may have a site with the right characteristics, but the valve is located in a place that’s too cramped for more equipment.”

Read more at the Daily Journal of Commerce.