News / Halifax

Halifax Water launches first-of-its-kind energy system

Halifax Mayor Mike Savage flipped the switch Thursday on a new system that will turn unused water pressure into enough electricity to power 25 homes.

Known as an in-line turbine project, the system - the first of its kind in Canada - will use a turbine/generator in a water pipe to transform water pressure into power that will then be sold to Nova Scotia Power.

“It’s a similar concept to using a turbine at a dam to create power,” said James Campbell, spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Water Commission (HRWC.) “This is water that’s flowing through the pipes already, so if we can use it in some way that’s great.”

“It is great to see these innovations taking place in our own backyard,” Savage said in a statement. “The cutting-edge thinking and project execution demonstrated here shines a spotlight on our region as a centre of excellence.”

At a cost of nearly $500,000 - 25 per cent below budget - HRWC, the Water Research Foundation and the Department of the Environment teamed up to create the system, which will produce 225,000 kilowatt hours of energy per year from its Bedford location.

Halifax Water will generate approximately $30,000 of revenue per year from the sale of the power and is considering several other sites for similar turbines.

“On a grand scale this is a relatively small project,” Campbell said. “Still, this is perfectly green energy. It’s a perfect kind of energy project.”

Residents who are hoping this might result in savings on their water bill will be disappointed, as Campbell said that’s more of a long-term proposal.

There is no set schedule for the installation of additional turbines, but HRWC has identified several locations that could work.

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