LucidEnergy is using gravity to help Portland generate electricity. How? The company has patented spherical turbines which allow water to pass through them. These turbines then generate clean electricity that goes to the electric grid. When people think of hydropower, many think of structures such as dams. The qualms with these are that dams can disrupt wildlife migration patterns, can trap sediment, and also speed up erosion. LucidEnergy uses a city’s water pipes to create power, mitigating all of the negative effects that dams have.
This installation is supposed to generate around $2 million dollars worth of renewable energy within 20 years and is only using water that is flowing downstream, as the electricity from pumping water would negate the electricity generated from the turbines. Portland is the second city, after Riverside, California, to use these pipes. To learn more about LucidPower, click here to see a video on how their pipe technology works!