Video: Our Planet is Facing Twin Crises of Climate Change and Biodiversity Loss

March 6, 2022

Hydropower is already the world’s largest source of renewable energy, but to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees Celsius, the amount of power generated from water must double over the next thirty years. To do this, we need hydropower solutions that prioritize biodiversity alongside renewable energy production.

Historically, hydro projects have been responsible for fragmenting rivers, destroying habitat, and displacing communities, but it doesn’t have to be this way. New hydro projects — including re-powering aging plants, and adding power to existing dams currently used for flood control, navigation or irrigation — should preserve or improve river connectivity, rather than impeding it.

At Natel Energy, we’ve designed an innovative solution to give fish and other aquatic life the same measure of attention we give to efficient renewable energy generation; we call it the fish-safe Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT). Working with scientists from Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (@PNNL) and Kleinschmidt Associates, we’ve performed studies to understand how fish pass through the RHT. The studies confirmed that the RHT can safely pass key migratory fish including eel, herring, and trout with survival rates greater than 99% — comparable to what fish experience when traversing natural river systems.

More Stories


Video: Monroe Fish Passage Testing

An overview of fish passage tests conducted with PNNL at our hydropower plant in Monroe, Oregon in the fall of 2020.


Gia featured on the Metcalf Institute's Innovations in the Clean Energy Transition panel

The Metcalf Institute's "Innovations in the Clean Energy Transition" panel features Gia Schneider in conversation with Jeff St. John, Ramya Swaminathan, and Benjamin Kroposki.


Natel Adds 80MW of Renewable Power to Louisiana's Red River

The company will install up to 90 of its Restoration Hydro Turbines at three non-powered dams

ALAMEDA, Calif. — Sept. 28, 2021 Natel Energy, a supplier of sustainable hydropower solutions, announced today it will develop, finance and construct three non-powered dam sites along Louisiana’s Red River in partnership with Nelson Energy, a Minneapolis-based firm that has successfully developed and licensed over $250 million of hydroelectric projects in the U.S. With Nelson Energy as an advisory partner, Natel will install between 60 and 90 of its flagship product, the Restoration Hydro Turbine (RHT), to retrofit three existing dams and add 80 MW of renewable power to the grid — enough energy to power 35,960 average US homes each year.