Alstom is to use a new ultraviolet water treatment solution in its hydropower plants.

The company has signed a bilateral agreement with Israeli company Atlantium, which has developed the technology for the power sector.

The technique destroys micro-organisms that proliferate in the auxiliary water circuits of hydropower plants. These invasive aquatic species such as algae, mussels and bacteria pose a serious problem for the hydropower industry, particularly in the US. They can slow the water flow in installations or even block pipes, resulting in costly maintenance.

Atlantium has developed technique involving ultraviolet rays that is already used in the pharmaceuticals and chemicals industries. The UV rays, diffused by a lamp embedded in Plexiglas tubes, prevent the invasive species from reproducing.

Atlantium claims that unlike other traditional water treatments, such as chlorine or ozone, UV rays are environmentally friendly and the technique requires little initial investment and is easy to maintain.

Alstom will now utilise the technology in its hydropower plants. Jacques Hardelay, hydro senior vice-president in Alstom’s Renewable Energies sector, said: “With this agreement, Alstom will enable its customers to benefit from an innovative, low-cost, environmentally respectful technique that has already proven itself in other industries and consolidates its position as the leader in services provision in the hydropower market.”