Tielt-Winge, February 24 – Today the first profitable micro hydropower plant in Europe as officially inaugurated. This happened on a site in Tielt-Winge, Belgium in the presence of Flemish Minister of Economy, Science an Innovation Philippe Muyters. The hydroelectric plant was developed by Turbulent, a start-up founded in January 2015 by two young entrepreneurs from Flemish Antwerp, in the meantime employing already eight people. They started a year ago with the development of “next generation hydroelectric power”. The patented turbine of Turbulent works almost continuously, is easy and small to install, and does not affect the environment or the water flow. The turbine generates clean, reliable and affordable energy in the most simple way. With the hydroelectric turbine of Turbulent energy can be extracted from rivers with much lower elevation than is usual – of 1.5 to 3 meters. The start-up inspired itself on the way vortexes work in nature.
Jasper Verreydt of Turbulent: ‘Because we understand the dynamics of a vortex well, we can significantly reduce the size of our turbines to half the size of those of our competitors. This unique feature reduces civil works as well as the impact on the ecosystem. Less intrusive work makes this type of technology more accessible to more people. Besides the specific propeller and the software that we provide, this plant can be implemented by almost everybody, bringing sustainable energy within everyone’s reach.’
Flemish Minister of Economy, Science an Innovation Philippe Muyters: ‘All the pieces of Turbulent demonstrate exactly what I want to achieve with the Flemish innovation policy. These guys tackle social issues such as renewable energy starting from an international vision, applying a self-developed innovative product within a scalable business model. Flanders has a great tradition and reputation in addressing societal challenges through our knowledge and ingenuity. The hydroelectric plant of Turbulent is a new jewel in that necklace. I am proud that Flanders has been able to support this venture, and of being here to launch their first power plant.”
Best start-up in the world
2015 was a unique year for Jasper Verreydt and Geert Slachmuylders from Turbulent. Not only did they start their venture together, their prototype in the same year already won the prestigious International Startup Nations Summit Award 2015 in which they were voted ‘the best start-up of the world‘. The team has since its inception in January 2015 received, among others, support and funding by KIC InnoEnergy, iMinds, Startit @KBC, Agency for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Flemish Acceleration Platform, EnergyVille, provided LCIE and Startup Chile. Klaas Schuring, CEO of KIC InnoEnergy Benelux: ‘This is a unique moment for both Turbulent as well as KIC InnoEnergy. It is our role to bring sustainable energy innovation to the market, and to provide innovators with the backup and assistance they need to bring their concepts to the market. The Turbulent technology is a good example of how we see value in innovative ideas that will make a huge difference in the way we produce and use energy now and in the future.’