March 26 (Renewables Now) - California-based company Natel Energy has raised USD 11 million (EUR 10m) to accelerate deployment of its Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), a sustainable hydropower solution.
The funds come from Schneider Electric Ventures and Bill Gates’ Breakthrough Energy Ventures, Natel said on Thursday.
The company has developed a fish-safe hydro turbine with an installed cost over 20% lower than that of conventional low-head options. It has successfully installed an RHT in Maine, at the Freedom Falls project, producing 35 kW to power a restaurant and a school. Any unused power is fed to the grid under a net metering programme.
“The product can be deployed as a retrofit in existing installations or rolled out in brand new developments. This means Natel has the potential to fundamentally change how water is leveraged as a renewable energy source that blends well with other important products like wind and solar,” said Carmichael Roberts of Breakthrough Energy Ventures.
Natel Energy is discussing new projects with customers.