In 2007 I was awarded a contract from Tacoma Power to evaluate the feasibility of tidal power generation in the Puget Sound of Washington State. Tidal energy is hydrokinetic, with the same physics as wind energy. I directed a team of eight consulting firms to evaluate all the known hydrokinetic turbine technologies and also the environmental and economic issues of a major tidal turbine installation. We concluded that the economics are not feasible at this time, given our region’s low electricity costs. You can download the Tacoma Power Feasibility Final Report pdf.
Because the ocean is tough place to launch new technology, I decided to try making power from water currents in large canals used for irrigation and water supply. In 2007 I founded Hydrovolts, Inc. and grew the company to 11 employees and achieved the first installation of a hydrokinetic canal turbine in the USA. Along the way I raised $2.8 million from investors, and Hydrovolts received great recognition, including winning the 2009 Cleantech Open National Sustainability Prize, the 2011 Imagine H2O Water-Energy Nexus prize, a Top 10 Global Innovator award from LAUNCH, and the 2012 Later-Stage Global Top 10 award from the Global Cleantech Cluster Association. My presentation about the company at LAUNCH is available online.
Hydrovolts was sold to some of its investors in 2013. I have started another company, Hydrobee SPC to make a new “nano-generator” of renewable USB battery power from water, wind, motion, sun, and fire.
I have made global connections and developed great knowledge about the applications of micro-hydropower in large artificial water systems such as canals and water treatment or water-using facilities. I am familiar with most of the companies (most of them small and early-stage) making hydrokinetic turbines, their markets and comparative advantages, the critical component technologies, and the economics of micro-hydro power generation around the world. I have been an invited speaker on distributed micro-hydropower at numerous conferences and have given presentations on the topic to the Undersecretaries for Energy in the US Army and US Navy.
If you have any interest related to micro-hydropower and hydrokinetic power specifically, I can add value with market and technical analysis, promotion and networking. Please use the Contact page on this website to get in touch!