CMI Team member Emrgy has raised $18.4 million to scale up its technology for carbon-free hydropower, according to a story by the Associated Press.
Emily Morris, CEO and founder of Emrgy, said her inspiration for making electricity in places that some people might find unlikely was seeing water swiftly flowing through the vast network of U.S. irrigation infrastructure. The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation alone operates 1,600 miles of main canals.
In the same way that putting solar on rooftops avoids disturbing the land, making use of existing canals means the hydropower turbines don’t have to disturb the natural environment.
“Our infrastructure represents a new sector of renewable energy real estate,” Morris said in an interview.
Irrigation canals in the U.S. are made of concrete or stone and transport water from main sources to fields. Emrgy units look something like a propeller with blades rotating parallel to the ground. Water in the canals turns them and then flows past; there is no dam. The spinning turbines do change how the water moves through the canals, slowing it, so Emrgy works closely with water operators.
See the full story: Mini hydro company raises $18M to generate power in canals