Hydropower

Tapping the Unseen Power of Water Piping

Sometimes the most practical and efficient renewable energy applications are those that tap unseen, wasted energy. That’s the idea behind a new approach that has just gained backing from the state of Connecticut. Rentricity, a renewable energy recovery company whose Flow-to-Wire system makes it possible to recover energy from within a water utility’s pressurized water piping systems, has received financial support from the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). The funding will help support a pilot program currently underway with the Aquarion Water Company of Connecticut.

Specifically, the funding will be used for the installation of Rentricity’s system onto pressure reduction valves (PRVs) at one of Aquarion’s underground vaults in Southwest Connecticut. It marks the first time such a technology has received financial aid from the CCEF. “We are pleased to support an innovative clean energy technology as CCEF’s goal is to promote and develop these technologies in Connecticut,” said Lise Dondy, chief operating officer of the Connecticut Clean Energy Fund. “Technologies like that of Rentricity, which can be deployed throughout the State will have positive economic and environmental benefits to the residents of our State.” Individually, the company’s Flow-to-Wire system will have an average capacity of 35 kW which will generate an anticipated 307,000 kWh per year. This is equivalent to about forty average residential homes in Connecticut. With multiple installations throughout the state it has the potential to result in two to three MW of installed capacity. The Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control has ruled Rentricity’s Flow-to-Wire system as a Class I renewable energy source. “Water utility CEO’s should understand they can generate a new revenue stream from their water assets and apply that new revenue to infrastructure upgrades and security enhancements,” Frank Zammataro, president and co-founder of Rentricity.