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Texas firm wins prize for small hydro technology

A national competition to promote clean energy has recognized NatEl of Grapevine, Texas, for a proposal to generate hydropower by installing its Linear HydroEngine technology at underutilized low-head dams.

NatEl said its technology -- which features blades, or hydrofoils, that move in a predominantly linear fashion -- will convert existing small dams into cost-effective power sources. The company has designed a series of Linear HydroEngines from 40 kW to 500 kW, and is designing engines of up to 3 MW.

NatEl was named one of two third-place winners in the Ignite Clean Energy Business Presentation Competition, created by the MIT Enterprise Forum of Cambridge. NatEl won a $2,500 cash award and $12,500 in office/incubator space for a total prize worth $15,000.

The competition provides training, mentoring, coaching, and $125,000 in prizes and services to clean-energy entrepreneurs to build a thriving clean-energy industry in Massachusetts.

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