Turning Water Into Electricity, Students Into Renewable Energy Experts
© W2 Energy
A hydropower turbine has the potential to not only create energy, but has also sparked the creation of both a renewable energy company and a renewable energy education program in Maine. One of W2 Energy’s WaterHelix hydrokinetic energy systems was bought by Maine entrepreneur Robert Fogg and will be the first project of his newly established Maine BioEnergy in collaboration with the local Lake Region Vocational Center.
As Fogg explains, "I called W2 Energy wanting to establish a renewable energy company in Maine. Our first project is using the WaterHelix to convert hydropower into electricity. Maine BioEnergy's second project will be using the NT Plasmatron to convert our wood waste into electricity."
With W2 Energy’s design, the WaterHelix energy system can operate in rivers, streams, coastlines, or anywhere there is moving water. Because it operates entirely underwater, the system maintains the natural beauty of the river, allows fish to swim freely, and eliminates the need for dams.
To perform the installation and testing of the WaterHelix, Maine BioEnergy partnered with the Lake Region Vocational Center (LRVC). This project kicks off the Renewable Energy Education Program (REEP) at LRVC, where students will install the WaterHelix in one of the streams on Maine BioEnergy’s property to test its potential to generate energy.
Once installed, the students will monitor performance for power production and the small energy generating system (SEGS) for power offtake, which will give W2 Energy third party validated testing for their specialized systems. With their lessons learned, LRVC students will also participate in Maine BioEnergy’s national PR campaign showcasing renewable energy efforts in Maine.
For added incentive, not only will students get renewable energy experience, but select LRVC students will be offered internships and paid jobs with Maine BioEnergy.