Renewable energy systems provider Lucid Energy has officially opened its first Center of Excellence and has celebrated the first commercial installation of the LucidPipe Power System.

The in-pipe hydropower system, which was developed in conjunction with Northwest Pipe Company, is now operating inside a 42” water pipeline at Riverside Public Utilities (RPU) and has produced 8140 kWh of energy since the installation of the commercial version was completed in January.

The new Center of Excellence in Riverside, California, is designed to help prospective customers, partners, academics and other industry leaders in the water and energy sectors learn about the in-pipe hydropower system and its patented, spherical, vertical axis turbine.

The LucidPipe Power System, which can include one or more turbines inside a section of large-diameter (24” – 96”) steel water pipe, is designed for use in large-scale municipal, agricultural and industrial gravity-fed water pipelines and effluent streams. It operates across a wide range of flow conditions, volumes and velocities with no interruption of water flow, says the company.

“This is a big day for us as we launch the first Lucid Energy Center of Excellence and celebrate the commercialization of the LucidPipe technology we’ve been developing and testing since 2007,” said Gregg Semler, president and CEO of Lucid Energy Inc. “We want to thank the US Department of Energy for their ongoing support of the development of this new technology and, of course, Riverside Public Utilities, which has been a terrific partner for us in helping us bring this technology out of the lab and into a real-world waterworks environment, ensuring that the system operates reliably and predictably as we increase production and expand into new markets in the United States and around the world.”

In 2009 the US Department of Energy awarded Lucid Energy a $1M phase 1 SBIR grant to field test the LucidPipe Power System.

Lucid Energy is developing Centers of Excellence in other parts of North America. It has recently agreed to terms with San Antonio Water System to begin construction of the next Center of Excellence in San Antonio, Texas later this year. Lucid Energy is collaborating with the Advanced Energy Research and Technology Center at Stony Brook University to design and operate a Center of Excellence in New York in the coming year.