In this double-header, Simon Love interviews two companies implementing innovative sustainable energy technologies. The episode touches on sustainable projects in urban versus rural environments,how to work with local government and communities, and where these technologies are headed.

First up is Bill Kelly from Lucid Energy, a startup that is creating usable energy from gravity-fed water systems. Bill opens up about the realities of innovating in a tightly-regulated environment. Bill shares his tips for innovators in the clean tech space.

Guests

Bill Kelly, Chief Operating Officer, Lucid Energy
Bill Kelly is a veteran leader with a broad range of experience working with utilities, technology companies and investors in the water sector. He is the former President of Isle Utilities and was the first U.S.-based employee. He was responsible for establishing the growing Isle Inc. Company presence in North America and facilitated and grew their Technology Approval Group (TAG), an innovation forum that brings new step change technologies to the municipal water and wastewater sector. Bill has also served as as a senior advisor at SkyH20 and Clean Power Capital. Bill earned a Bachelor of Arts in Information and Communications Studies from California State University-Chico.

Andrew Haden, Founder and President, Wisewood
Andrew is the Founder of Wisewood, Inc. and has over 12 years of experience working in the biomass sector. Andrew has led the development and implementation of multiple biomass energy projects through complete cycles of feasibility assessment, engineering, construction, commissioning and ongoing operations support. He leads the design component of all Wisewood energy projects. Prior to founding Wisewood, Andrew worked at Bear Mountain Forest Products and Ecotrust. Andrew is an expert on the regional biomass industry and has an MS in Rural Development from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences and a BA in Sustainable Agriculture from The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.

Meagan Nuss, Project Development Coordinator, Wisewood
Meagan is Wisewood’s Project Development Coordinator. She works closely with community partners to move projects forward and respond to client needs, and also investigates biomass supply opportunities across Wisewood’s project areas. Meagan specializes in biomass energy and has a background in forest management, fire ecology, and forest collaborative groups. She is experienced as a volunteer mediator and facilitator, and brings these skills to her interactions with prospective biomass energy clients. Prior to coming to Wisewood, Meagan worked for Northwest Natural Resource Group, the Forest Guild, and GreenWood Resources. Meagan has an MS in Forest Ecosystems and Society from Oregon State University, and a BA in Environmental Studies from Lewis & Clark College.

In this episode you’ll learn

  • How Lucid Energy’s turbine system captures energy in water pipes that is normally wasted.
  • How the new turbine replaces a wasteful system of valves
  • Why it can be tough for a ‘no-brainer’ technology to make it to market
  • How innovative projects proceed when there are many stakeholders involved
  • Bill Kelly’s advice for innovators in clean tech
  • How Lucid Energy is prepared for a future that involves both distributed energy in rural areas
  • and grids in concentrated urban areas.
  • The story behind Wisewood, and how it can be economical to ship wood pellets from BritishColumbia to Stockholm but not to use them locally.
  • How biomass energy and forest restoration  are so closely tied together.
  • How cheap hydroelectric power and natural gas prevent biomass projects from happening,despite the need for material to be removed from forests for forest health.
  • How a small town in Oregon is replacing a diesel boiler with a district energy scheme using local juniper wood
  • How something as simple as a wood-fueled boiler can actually be very empowering for rural communities.

Links

Lucid Energy
Wisewood