New York-based Verdant Power has filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) that would allow the company to install up to 30 new tidal power turbines in the East Channel of the East River in New York, NY. If approved, the project would be the first tidal power plant in the U.S. licensed to transmit energy onto the national grid.
Entitled the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project, the initiative has been Verdant Power’s signature effort to commercialize its ‘Free Flow’ kinetic hydropower system, which uses three-bladed turbines deployed in fast-moving tides and rivers to generate clean energy. During 2006-08, Verdant Power successfully demonstrated a Free Flow System comprised of six full-scale turbines, delivering energy to businesses in New York City with no power quality problems.
Verdant Power would install an advanced, 5th Generation Free Flow System through the proposed pilot project – an updated design enhanced for system reliability, cost-effective manufacturing and environmental compatibility. The US Department of Energy (DOE) provided partial funding for this advancement, specifically the design and testing of a new composite turbine blade in partnership with the DOE’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory, Sandia National Laboratories, and the University of Minnesota’s St. Anthony Falls Laboratory. Major funding for the development of the RITE Project has been provided by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
The license application has been submitted under FERC’s Hydrokinetic Pilot Project Licensing Procedures, established to allow for the advancement of U.S. hydrokinetic technologies (tidal, river, wave power), while maintaining FERC oversight and agency input. Verdant Power is a world leader in the design and application of marine renewable energy systems, which use underwater turbines to generate clean energy from the currents of tides, rivers and manmade channels – all highly predictable energy resources. Simple and modular in design, Verdant Power systems can be scaled to operate in a wide range of water settings worldwide.