Marine hydropower developer proposes commercial tidal power plant for New York City’s East River

Marine hydro firm Verdant Power has filed an application with the U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission 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 United States licensed to transmit energy onto the national grid, a press release states.

“We are extremely excited about the submission of this license application,” stated Ron Smith, CEO of Verdant Power. “It represents the culmination of nearly a decade of work undertaken by Verdant Power and a variety of project stakeholders to add tidal power to the US clean energy mix.”

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, which utilizes 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. The RITE Project would have a capacity of about 1 MW and is expected to generate 1,680 to 2,500 MWh of electricity annually, previous reports indicate.

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 US hydrokinetic technologies (tidal, river, wave power), while maintaining FERC oversight and agency input. The application was prepared by Verdant Power with support from Kleinschmidt Associates and outlines the company’s plans to meet FERC requirements for installation and operation, including environmental monitoring and public safeguarding. Verdant Power conducted environmental monitoring of the Free Flow System during the six-turbine demonstration at the RITE Project, developing significant environmental data on the technology that showed no evidence of increased fish injury or mortality in the demonstration area. Verdant Power would continue environmental monitoring plans, developed in conjunction with federal and state resource agencies, during the proposed pilot project to study any impacts of the larger field, which is planned for incremental installation beginning in late 2011, pending approvals.

This article was reprinted with permission from RenewableEnergyWorld.com as part of the PennWell Corporation Renewable Energy World Network and may not be reproduced without express written permission from the publisher.

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Marine hydropower firm Atlantis deploys tidal turbine at European Marine Energy Centre

Marine hydro firm Atlantis Resources Corporation announced it has successfully deployed its AK1000 tidal turbine – which Atlantis calls the world’s largest rotor diameter tidal turbine – on its subsea berth at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, Scotland.

The installation follows the tidal turbine unveiling ceremony, held in Invergordon on August 12th. Producing 1 MW of power, the AK1000 is capable of generating enough electricity for 1,000 homes, Atlantis reported. It is designed for harsh weather and rough, open ocean environments, such as those found off the Scottish coast. The turbine has an 18 meter rotor diameter, weighs 130 tons and stands at a height of 22.5 meters.

Drew Blaxland, chief technology officer at Atlantis, said: “The entire team at Atlantis, together with our onshore and offshore technology and construction partners, is delighted with this installation program. The large rotor diameter of the turbine and the tight tidal windows we had to operate within presented significant challenges, but these were overcome with meticulous preparation, a ‘can-do’ attitude and the discipline to apply the right resources to what was a major offshore engineering operation.”

The AK1000 will now undergo electrical connection to the power export cable recently laid by EMEC at its facility, located at the Fall of Warness in Orkney. These operations are expected to take up to two weeks, depending on weather conditions. Atlantis has established a dedicated control center on the Island of Eday from which the AK1000 turbine can be controlled and monitored.

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