Hydropower reimagined.

Our Story

At Natel we believe passionately that it's both possible and necessary to achieve carbon zero while protecting species diversity. To get there, we need to develop renewable technology thoughtfully, using biodiversity conservation as a design constraint. By prioritizing fish survival alongside meeting performance metrics, Natel's fish-safe RHT does just that.

OuR Mission

Support healthy rivers, promote biodiversity, and decarbonize the grid.

We believe clean energy development should also address biodiversity loss. Natel is engineering climate-resilient hydropower that maintains or improves ecosystem health, while delivering reliable, renewable power.

Monroe Hydro from above.
Natel engineering team with a submersible RHT.
Working in the shop at Natel headquarters in California.
Alex and Kelsey fit runner into the turbine.
OuR Values

We aim to build the best solutions: for energy, for the environment, and for people.

We know our business activities—from using computing resources to scale model testing to building projects—all have impact. We seek not only to do less harm, but more good. We are stewards of our planet and are responsible to the generations to come.

Owen fish testing
A volunteer eel safely passed through the turbine during an alewife test.

Our Story

Dan Schneider and friends.
Early 1980s

Motivated to reduce reliance on fossil fuels, inventor Dan Schneider works with friends from Texas A&M to find new ways to generate renewable energy, inspiring his children, Gia and Abe, at a young age

Abe and Gia study the river.
Early 1990s

As teens, siblings Gia and Abe Schneider discover
the positive ecological benefit beaver dams can have on river health

Abe and Gia start the company.

Gia and Abe Schneider co-found Natel Energy, supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Energy

First generation Natel hydro turbine at Buckeye pilot project.

Buckeye pilot project
                           features Natel's first-generation hydro turbine

2011 Natel tests at Alden.

Natel conducts first hydrologic tests at Alden Research Laboratory

Onsite hydraulic test.

Natel commissions on-site hydraulic test facility

Monroe Hydro Plant.

Natel commissions first commercial project for Apple

Natel's second generation turbine.

Natel commissions second commercial
project using second-generation turbine

Upstream Tech logo.

Natel acquires Upstream Tech, author of HydroForecast watershed intelligence software

Natel's RHT prior to install.

Natel unveils the fish-safe Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT)

Freedom Hydro Plant in Maine.

Natel installs the first RHT at The Mill in Freedom, Maine

Natel RHT runner closeup.
March 2020

Natel announces $11M funding close with
Schneider Electric Ventures and Breakthrough Energy Ventures

Monroe Hydro at night.
Fall 2020

Natel commissions Monroe Hydropower Project in Madras, Oregon, utilizing a utility-scale RHT

Fish passage testing at Monroe.
Fall 2020

Natel and Pacific Northwest National Laboratories (PNNL) conduct RHT passage tests with rainbow trout; results show 100% immediate and 48-hour survival for through-turbine passage

Restoration Hydro Turbine in Oregon.
JULY 2021

Natel announces $20M Series B funding with
Breakthrough Energy Ventures to continue growing modern hydropower

Rainbow trout
JUNE 2022

Natel and PNNL conduct turbine passage tests with large adult rainbow trout, resulting in >99% safe passage of some of the largest fish ever successfully passed through a compact hydro turbine

American eels in fish tank.
August 2022

The scientific journal Transactions of the American Fisheries Society publishes Natel's peer-reviewed study conducted with PNNL; results show 100% immediate and 48-hour survival

Sauerbrunn RHT installed.

Austrian utility Energie Steiermark opens the Sauerbrunn Hydro Project, featuring the first fully-submersible RHT and the first RHT to operate in Europe

Gia with other leaders at the US Africa Business Forum in 2022

Natel and MyHydro announce, at the US-Africa Business Forum, their contract to install fish-safe RHTs in the first of 33 potential projects in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Juvenile alewife swim in a holding tank
March 2023

North American Journal of Fisheries Management publishes a peer-reviewed study by Natel and Kleinschmidt Associates; results show 98-100% survival of juvenile alewife passing through a D55 RHT, measured immediately and after 48 hours

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Meet our team

We are entrepreneurs and technologists from top engineering, energy and finance firms, passionate about climate solutions.

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