ARPA-E Investor Update Blog v14 Emrgy

ARPA-E Investor Update Vol. 14

Emrgy’s Radically Reimagined Hydropower Technology

On April 11, 2023, ARPA-E awardee Emrgy raised $18.4M for their proprietary hydrokinetic turbine (HKT) in a Series A funding round led by Oval Park Capital, including key investors Fifth Wall, Blitzscaling Ventures, Overlay Capital, and Veriten. Emrgy will use this funding to open their turbine assembly facility in Aurora, Colorado with an estimated production capacity of 5 megawatts per month, deploy their distributed hydropower plants, and hire staff for their development, operations, and engineering teams.

Emrgy received $3.34M in ARPA-E funding in September 2021 as part of our Submarine Hydrokinetic And Riverine Kilo-megawatt Systems (SHARKS) program. The goal of the SHARKS program is to fund new holistic HKT designs that significantly reduce levelized cost of energy for economically viable deployments. Using this funding, Emrgy has optimized turbine performance based on the impacts of water depth and velocity alongside improved system electronics and controls. Collaboration with industry leading institutions such as Stanford University and University of Tennessee has also continued to add value to the company’s growth. Emrgy’s waterpower technology leverages existing underutilized waterways, harvests power continuously as water flow, and provides power systems to deliver low-cost renewable power to energy off-takers while minimizing disruptive construction and ecosystem impact.

Additionally, Emrgy is a women-led startup headed by CEO Emily Morris. Morris was inspired by the untapped potential of underutilized U.S. irrigation infrastructure to generate energy without disrupting the natural environment. “Together with the SHARKS program, resources and rigor are dedicated to advance Emrgy's control systems to commercially offer next generation hydrokinetic tech,” stated Emily.

Conventional hydropower technology requires gravity drop and head pressure to effectively operate. It usually requires forceful water flow, the construction of a dam or other significant water infrastructure that is both expensive and alters the natural environment. They can be too expensive for deployment due to technical challenges, long construction timelines, and harsh operational environments.

ARPA-E Emrgy Investor Update Blog

 Emrgy's HKT Design

Emrgy’s HKT technology taps in the natural power of waterways – transforming global water infrastructure into a source of renewable, sustainable energy. Emrgy’s proprietary HKT technology optimizes only on the kinetic energy or velocity of the volume of water flowing through a channel. This means it does not require anchoring or the modification of currently existing water infrastructure. Emrgy’s modular “plug-and-play” design can be easily installed or removed in man-made canals and irrigation channels. This ease makes the technology ideal for rapid scaling. Their technology is quick to deploy, with hydropower available 24/7. Moreover, their technology works effectively even with slow water flows or shallow waterways.

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Emrgy's Installation with Denver Water

Emrgy’s technology is low-cost. It allows users to monetize their water infrastructure for a sustainable energy output while diversifying their energy portfolio with a long-term asset. Individual units produce between 5-25 kilowatts with installations producing up to 10 megawatts of energy. The HKTs seamlessly integrate into the local energy grid using the same inverters used for solar energy. Emrgy’s powerful technology can be especially impactful in neighborhoods or small campuses where HKTs can provide 100% of the energy those communities need to sustain themselves.

Emrgy installed its latest distributed hydropower array with Denver Water with plans to expand here in the future. Other notable commercial customers include Oakdale Irrigation District and Davis and Weber Counties Canal Company. Emrgy has operational projects in New Zealand and a pilot system in South Africa, as well as plans to expand in western US, Europe, Australia, and Asia.

Emrgy’s modular, low-cost, “plug-and-play” HKTs are reintroducing hydropower as a player in the race to “net-zero.”