Lucid, Cadiz enter agreement to develop in-pipe hydroelectric power system

Renewable power developer Lucid Energy and land and water resources development company Cadiz Inc. have agreed to a joint venture collaboration to generating hydroelectric power from a planned 43-mile-long water conveyance pipeline in California.

Energy produced by Lucid‘s “LucidPipe” in-pipe turbine units will be used by the Arizona & California Railroad Company (ARZC) as part of the Cadiz Valley Water Conservation, Recovery & Storage Project.

Cadiz Inc. leased a portion of AZRC’s railroad right-of-way in 2008 to construct the pipeline project within the existing transportation corridor. The company’s proposal is now being reviewed by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.

The Southern Californian company said about 50,000 acre-feet of water flow through the 42-mile stretch per year en route to the Colorado River Aqueduct, giving the system the capability to generate 1,300 MWh of power per year.

The project is intended to help ARZC secure cost-effective and routine power access for its operations that include a shortline railroad running between Cadiz and Matthie, Ariz., and possibly an expanded transloading siding location in Rice, Calif., that would require energy for lighting, refrigeration and heating.

“The Cadiz project will provide critical benefits to our operation, and provide us with a valuable and unique opportunity to enhance our rail line,” ARZC president Brad Ovitt said. “This innovative hydropower technology will provide a great benefit that we could not access but for the existence of the Cadiz pipeline.”

LucidPipe turbines are ball-shaped units installed directly into large-diameter, gravity-fed pipelines.

“There are thousands of miles of gravity-fed water pipelines across our country that could make use of our unique hydropower technology without harm to the environment,” Lucid Energy president and CEO Gregg Semler said. “LucidPipe generates baseload energy with no carbon emissions and no disruption to pipeline operations, providing clean, eco-friendly power in the truest sense of the word.

“We are excited to be able to collaborate with Cadiz in this green power venture.” reported in January that a Lucid installation in a Portland Water Bureau pipeline had begun generating power.

The Portland-based company installed its first LucidPipe system in 2012 at Riverside Public Utilities’ Lemona Booster Station in Riverside, Calif., and announced a partnership for a second demonstration site with the San Antonio Water System later the same year.

Lucid Energy has received funding from a number of private sources, including Israeli venture group OurCrowd, Star Energy and the Harbourton Fund, as well as more than $1 million from the U.S. Department of Energy.

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Michael Harris formerly was Editor for

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