Traditional hydroelectric projects are nothing new across the state, as PGE owns or partially owns seven hydro facilities on the Clackamas, Willamette, and Deschutes Rivers to serve our customers. But our latest endeavor was a bit more unique – the first hydroelectric project set to be powered entirely by excess water pressure.
The major difference here comes from how the system is being integrated into the city of Hillsboro’s existing hydro infrastructure. Instead of the roaring falls at the Bonneville Dam, this new technology captures the waste pressure produced inside the pipe from the constant flow of water – using a new kind of “pressure reducing valve” to harness that wasted energy and turn it into reliable, renewable electricity. And unlike many other forms that are dependent upon weather, the flow at this system runs 24/7, allowing additional resiliency for the grid.
Located just outside of the Hillsboro Hops stadium, the approximately 200,000 kWh generated annually from this site will add to the Renewable Development Fund’s growing portfolio of over 14.5 MW of installed renewable projects.
So, next time you’re enjoying a Hops game under the lights at Ron Tonkin Field, remember it’s being supported by new renewable energy technology.