Renewable energy is one of the fastest-growing energy sources in the U.S. — it surpassed coal for the first time in the U.S. this past April.
Hydropower startup Emrgy is ready to capture this market.
The Atlanta-based company has entered a new phase of expansion with a manufacturing and sales partnership with GE Renewable Energy. According to CEO Emily Morris, this will enable Emrgy to grow more quickly in the international hydropower market.
“Through engaging GE’s manufacturing expertise and vast supply chain, we can reduce the cost of our product to manufacturer,” Morris tells Hypepotamus. “This will improve the profitability of our sales in the short term and a much quicker trajectory than we’d be able to achieve on our own.”
Founded in 2014, Emrgy harnesses energy from small and shallow water flows — like municipally-owned water treatment centers, canals, and utility providers — to create hydro-electric power.
The water flows through a self-contained, SUV-sized unit holding a set of turbines. This provides flexibility and standardization to the hydropower energy option, something already available in wind and solar.
“Water is the absolute best medium for generating power,” says Morris.
“It continues to prove that based on the resiliency and reliability of hydroelectric facilities across the globe. Solar and wind are exciting, but also necessitate other technologies for their sustainability like energy storage.”
Following a pilot with the city of Atlanta, Emrgy installed their first distributed hydro-power array in Denver.
“That was a big milestone for the company as it served as a launchpad for us here in the U.S. It was a real example of how distributed hydropower can integrate into existing water infrastructure,” says Morris.
They’ve since been implemented in several U.S. markets.
Emrgy will now begin scaling immediately in international markets through the GE partnership. The first markets are Brazil, China, Philippines, and Kyrgyzstan.
The technology will be offered with GE manufacturing warranty, providing an extra layer of security for early adopters.
“As we grow, this allows to focus on things that we do best which is growing a vision for distributed hydroelectric power,” says Morris.
To develop additional revenue streams, Emrgy is working towards selling power directly to end users or to the utility companies through power purchase agreements.
They’re also implementing a licensing fee for partners and distributors.
“We’re looking not just at irrigation customers or water treatment customers, but also at existing hydroelectric facilities to add capacity there as well,” says Morris.
The company brought in additional funding last September and is growing its team further to meet the demand for distribution.
“[The market] continues to get better for the success of distributed hydropower with distributed renewable energy resources becoming more and more common,” says Morris. “It makes the customer familiarity and interest in a product like Emrgy be more natural and helps facilitate the growth of the business.”