First U.S. Commercial Tidal Power Plant Proposed for NYC
The first U.S. commercial tidal power plant may be coming to New York City in the near future.
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 City. If approved, the project would be the first tidal power plant in the U.S. licensed to transmit energy onto the national grid.
Called the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project, the initiative has been Verdant Power's signature effort to commercialize its 'Free Flow' kinetic hydropower system. As the water in the fast-moving tides flow, it spins the three-bladed turbines to generate clean electricity.
During 2006-2008, Verdant Power demonstrated a Free Flow system comprised of six full-scale turbines, delivering energy to businesses in New York City with no power problems.
Verdant Power would install an advanced, fifth-generation Free Flow system through the pilot project, equipped with an updated design for reliability, cost-effective manufacturing and environmental compatibility.
The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) provided partial funding for this advancement, specifically the design and testing of a new composite turbine blade in partnership with its 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 and the New York City Economic Development Corporation.
During the project, Verdant Power would monitor the environment, in conjunction with federal and state agencies, to study any impact on fish and birds in the area. The installation is planned in stages, beginning in late 2011, pending approvals.