Verdant Gets License to Build Tidal Plant in NYC Waters

Verdant Power has been awarded a 10-year license for a tidal wave energy plant in New York City’s East River.

Verdant, which has been pushing the project forward since 2002, has tested six turbines there, which is actually a tidal strait between the New York Harbor and the Long Island Sound. The power produced by that demonstration project powered a Gristedes supermarket and a parking garage on Roosevelt Island.

This is the first time the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) has awarded a tidal wave license. This
"pilot" license will allow Verdant to demonstrate commercial
viability, while also determining potential environmental impacts.

When FERC gives a pilot license, the project must be able to be removed and be built in locations that aren’t environmentally sensitive.

The 1,050-kilowatt Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project would supply electricity to 9,500 homes on Roosevelt Island, which sits in the East River between the boroughs of Manhattan and Queens.

Verdant places turbines on the river’s floor to tap its tidal flow. It plans to have five turbines in place by late 2013 and 50 by 2015. During this pilot period, the company will study the impact on fish and the river’s sediment as well as demonstrating commercial viability.

If all goes well, Verdant will apply for a commercial license.

In 2010, Verdant received an award from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) for a pilot demonstration of three, more advanced turbines and an improved channel-mounting system in the East River. 

In 2010, the company signed the first memorandum of understanding (MOU) with China for marine renewable energy. The MOU says Verdant will develop projects with China’s state-owned renewable energy developer – the China Energy Conservation Environment Protection Group.

US Marine Energy Potential

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently the most rigorous assessments of the potential for marine renewable energy in the US.

The reports conclude that marine energy has the potential to provide 15% of US electricity by 2030.

The Pacific Ocean off the West Coast (Washington, Oregon and
California) and Alaska have the most wave energy resources, and there are numerous "hot spots" for tidal energy across the US, mostly along the east and west coasts.

DOE concludes the US has the marine resources to create new industries, jobs, an American leadership in an emerging global market.

Mapping and Assessment of the United States Ocean Wave Energy Resource report

Assessment of Energy Production Potential from Tidal Streams in the United States: includes a geographic information systems (GIS) tool available for public use.

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