Lucid Energy
Turbines such as these, inserted inside a pipe in a city water system, captures energy that helps power the electricity grid.

Innovation in Action: Generating Electricity With Turbines Inside City Water Pipes [Video]


For decades, Indigenous Peoples across Turtle Island have protested the damming of majestic rivers to supply electricity to urban areas. But what if the hydro answer lay right underneath the city itself?

Though it may sound a bit far-fetched, it is anything but science fiction. One company in Portland, Oregon is proving that hydropower can be generated without compromising salmon habitat or destroying wildlife migration routes—or without causing any environmental impact at all.

Lucid Energy, a startup energy company based in Portland, has installed just such a system in the drinking-water pipes under the city. As water tumbles through the pipes en route to faucets, it flows past turbines strategically placed inside the pipes. The resultant energy is captured just above it in a generator that then powers part of the city’s electricity grid. Moreover, sensors attached to the pipes can monitor water quality.

The system does need gravity on its side, Fast Company reported, meaning it can only work where the water is flowing downward of its own accord. However unlike other forms of renewable energy, it does not depend on the weather, the online magazine Good reported.

The promotional video below explains how it all works.

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