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Lucid Energy signs deal for in-pipe demonstration site

Renewable power system developer Lucid Energy Inc. has partnered with the San Antonio Water System to build a demonstration site for its LucidPipe Power System.

The LucidPipe system -- developed with Northwest Pipe Company -- features a patented, spherical, vertical-axis turbine that uses energy in the form of excess head pressure in large, gravity-fed pipelines.

The company says that one or more turbine can be installed inside sections of large-diameter steel water pipe without affecting operations or water flow.

Lucid's partnership with the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) will include three LucidPipe turbines inside one section of 24-inch steel water pipe at SAWS' Regional Carrizo Water Supply Project.

"Utilizing our water infrastructure to generate renewable energy fits our philosophy of environmentally smart solutions because it taps an existing resource -- water moving through our pipelines -- to provide low-impact, low-cost, renewable energy," says Steve Clouse, SAWS chief operating officer and senior vice-president.

When completed in early 2013, the project will have a capacity of 60 kW.

"San Antonio is one of the most forward-thinking cities in the country when it comes to smart water and energy development," says Lucid Energy Chief Executive Officer Gregg Semler. "We anticipate that the LucidPipe installation will draw interest from academic and industry leaders worldwide who are interested in learning about the vast potential for in-pipe hydropower as a solution for water and energy security."

HydroWorld.com reported in June that the company had opened its new Center of Excellence at the Lemona Booster Station in Riverside, Calif.

The company was awarded a US$1 million Phase 1 Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grant by the U.S. Department of Energy in 2009. Pilot tests have been coordinated with Riverside Public Utilities for the past two years.

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