The city of Hillsboro, Oregon is pioneering an innovative micro-hydropower system called the In-PRV that manages pressure in a city water pipeline while generating renewable energy, reducing carbon, saving water, extending the life of infrastructure and improving resilience.
“This partnership between the City of Hillsborough, Portland General Electric, Energy Trust of Oregon, and InPipe Energy has been a fantastic opportunity for all of us to make strides towards a more environmentally friendly power generation opportunity for our community,” said Water Director, City of Hillsboro Water Department.
This in-conduit hydropower project will produce a little over 200,000 kilowatt hours of clean, renewable electricity per year. That electricity will be net-metered against the Gordon-Faber Recreational Complex, offsetting the electricity they need to power the lights and run the concessions. That’s about the same equivalent as the electricity load of 20 Oregon homes per year every year for decades to come.
“Utilities typically use a lot of energy in the form of pumping and that’s to move water over long distances. Water is pumped up to a high point and stored in reservoirs and then it flows by gravity to low points. The water is at a high pressure, too high for typical domestic and commercial uses, and so the pressure is reduced via friction. In this case, we’re using a hydroelectric turbine to provide that friction and capture the electricity,” said Eric Hielema, Water Department Engineering Manager, City of Hillsboro.
Water is the most important resource on the planet, but water agencies all over the world are struggling with aging infrastructure and rising costs. Water is also extremely energy intensive, so as the cost of energy rises, so does the cost of water. So, the City of Hillsboro, with the NPRV in place, is able to better manage their water, while also reducing their costs due to energy. And for the rest of the planet, we’re producing a new source of renewable energy, which reduces carbon and extends the life of infrastructure.
“The city of Hillsborough is a growing community. And so for us to be able to pioneer this practical, new form of renewable energy, allows us to meet our climate action goals, it helps us build resilience, and it helps us save the taxpayers money. And all of those things are part of our city’s priorities and goals,” said Steve Callaway, Mayor, City of Hillsboro.
For more information, please contact InPipe Energy today. Ask about the free Energy and Carbon reduction assessment.