VerdErg installs hydropower technology in River Caldew

VerdErg is in the process of installing new hydropower technology into a Cumbrian river.

The Surrey-based company has developed the spectral marine energy converter (SMEC) over the past four years and is now ready to demonstrate it in the River Caldew.

Ron Tucker, corporate development director at VerdErg, said the SMEC device amplifies the pressure of the flowing water with the help of narrow tubes so that a turbine can be powered even when the water is not moving quickly.

‘It could be as large as a bridge, spanning from one bank of a river to the other, or relatively small and deployed in streams,’ said Tucker.

SMEC is scalable and reportedly has the potential to generate up to 1GW of electricity for the grid. However, the initial small-scale project will only be able to produce up to 100kW/h at a price of 10–20p per kilowatt-hour.

VerdErg is considering deploying the devices to more than 26,000 spots across England and Wales that were identified by the Environment Agency as suitable for hydropower.