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Hydrovolts, a Seattle startup that’s developing turbines to generate clean power from canals and other waterways, has won the Water-Energy Nexus Prize. Handed out last night in San Francisco as part of the Imagine H20 conference, the award includes legal and accounting services, as well as $20,000 in cash.

“It’s pretty exciting for us,” said CEO Burt Hamner. The company plans to use some of the proceeds and services from the event to set up an advisory board specifically for the market opportunities in California.

“California is going to be a huge market for us,” said Hamner, adding that they want the expertise to help avoid regulatory pitfalls in the state.

Hydrovolts is housed at the McKinstry Innovation Center in South Seattle. It was started after Hamner was hired to help the City of Tacoma explore tidal energy opportunities in the Tacoma Narrows waterway. As part of that, Hamner helped create the Tacoma Narrows Tidal Power Feasibility Study in 2007.

Here’s a look at the technology in action.

And here’s video of an installation of one of the company’s hydrokinetic turbines:

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