Underwater Turbine Taps into Unused Energy of Pumping Process

by | Mar 22, 2010

MitchellWaterTreatmentPlantThe city of Greensboro, N.C., has two new renewable energy projects underway — an underwater turbine at its Mitchell Water Treatment Facility that will generate electricity and solar hot-water panels at the planned Greensboro Aquatic Center, reports News-Record.com.

The Water Resources department will install a $722,000 hydroelectric turbine that will tap into unused energy produced during the water pumping process into the Mitchell plant. The captured energy can be used to rotate the turbine, which will create electricity that can be sold to the power company, helping to fund the cost of the equipment, reports the newspaper.

Stephen Randall, the city’s energy and sustainability program manager, told News-Record.com that Duke would pay a premium for the renewable power source.

The project will be partly funded by a U.S. Department of Energy stimulus grant, with the remainder paid by the water department. The project will take about 18 months after stimulus funds are received.

A renewable energy project slated for the Greensboro Coliseum Complex will install 24 solar hot-water panels atop the new $17-million aquatics center, which will be used to heat the center’s sinks and showers, according to the article.

The energy company will pay for the purchase and installation of the panels, and in return, the city will pay a set fee for the energy collected by the panels.

In 2007, the coliseum underwent a complete overall that included energy-efficient lighting system retrofits, installation of water conserving plumbing fixtures and major upgrades to its heating ventilation and air conditioning systems.

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