Tuesday, January 04, 2011

East River Tidal Power Project Gets Another Step Closer To Fruition

Verdant Power, which installed a mini-array of tidal power turbines in the East River off Roosevelt Island, has applied to the FERC for a permit to operate a full-scale tidal power project.
The company, Verdant Power, filed an application with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to install up to 30 tidal power turbines in the river’s East Channel for a pilot project. Company officials say the turbines would transmit energy onto the national grid.

The application “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 U.S. clean energy mix,” Verdant’s chief executive, Ronald Smith, said in a statement.

From 2006 to 2008, the company installed six turbines, to create “clean energy” from the swift, powerful tides of the river, which is technically a tidal strait and not a river at all.

The three-bladed turbines encountered some problems — with the strong currents breaking off tips of some blades — but succeeded in generating power that was delivered to local businesses on Roosevelt Island. Company officials called it the first system of grid-connected tidal turbines in the world. The trial also offered proof that turbines would not injure fish in the river, Verdant officials said.
Some of that power went to Gristede's supermarket on Roosevelt Island, and the demonstration project showed that the concept could work. Issues with materials used on the turbines appear to have been worked out.

This would be a significant step in improving the power generating capabilities within New York City.

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