California American Water announced the Highland Tank Conduit-Hydro Clean Energy Project, a clean energy recovery infrastructure project with Rentricity Inc., the innovative in-conduit hydropower clean energy company located in New York City. The Highland Tank Project, sponsored by the California Public Utilities Commission, is a unique, high-capacity clean energy project aimed at modernizing pressure regulation infrastructure. When complete the system will generate between 75 and 125 kilowatts of clean energy at different periods of the day.
California American Water’s Highland Tank, located in San Diego, will be retrofitted with two different sized NSF 61/372 low lead turbines, and is certified for safe-drinking water, to maximize annual power generation over the diurnal and seasonal cycles. Rentricity Flow-to-Wire™ systems' capture excess pressure and flow within gravity-fed water distribution pipelines, converting it into clean energy for the electric grid or to be used on the customer's site.
The existing 24-inch transmission line and 24-inch distribution line will be utilized as originally built and currently used for the distribution of potable water for residential and commercial consumption.
"We are excited to work with Rentricity to complete this important infrastructure project to determine how California American Water might leverage this technology in the future to reduce our carbon footprint and reduce costs to customers," said Kevin Tilden, President of California American Water. "With in-conduit hydropower we have another option to reduce our carbon footprint and energy costs. ESG is core to our business and integral to our success. California American Water is dedicated to finding effective new technologies that increase efficiencies in our systems.”
California American Water will seek to provide this unique, high-capacity clean energy to one of the Community Choice Aggregators operating in the San Diego Gas & Electric region. In-conduit hydropower is gaining interest in the clean energy sector as a novel and unique form of clean energy that can support and balance the emergence of micro-grids, especially in southern California. Approximately four percent of total U.S. energy use is consumed by water and wastewater systems, equivalent to 187.4 million megawatt hours of energy per year and is estimated to cost as much as $4 billion annually. Innovative technologies, such as Rentricity’s, afford water operators around the country an opportunity to help address a national problem by reducing their costs and improve their infrastructure.
Rentricity’s applications for in-conduit hydropower solutions are numerous, making it a new energy savings option for new pipeline projects and infrastructure upgrades. "As our population and industry grows in the United States, more water will be piped to people, farm fields and industrial processors," says Frank Zammataro, Rentricity's CEO and Co-founder. "We need to embrace in-conduit hydropower as a consistent and predictable form of clean energy that can be harnessed to support emerging microgrids adopting solar, wind and thermal resources," he added.
Rentricity is the sole source provider for safe drinking water NSF certified pumps-as-turbines for energy recovery applications in water infrastructure. The NSF 61 & 372 safe drinking water certified equipment is currently required in 48 states.