Initiated in 2002, Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project is being operated in New York City’s East River. In three phases, the RITE Project will test, demonstrate and deliver commercial electricity from Verdant Power’s Free Flow Kinetic Hydropower System (tidal).
The RITE Project’s Phase 2 Demonstration began in 2006 with the installation of the company’s first full-scale (5m diameter rotor) Free Flow System turbine into the East River. Over the next two-year period, Verdant Power operated six full-scale turbines in array at the RITE Project, successfully demonstrating the Free Flow System as an efficient source of renewable energy.
Preparations for the RITE Phase 3 Build-out are now underway, beginning with Verdant Power’s submission of an application for a pilot license to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in December 2010. If granted, this license would allow Verdant Power to build out the RITE Project in the East Channel of the East River to a 1 MW, 30-turbine Free Flow System (Gen5), and to commercially deliver the energy generated by the field to local customers.
Authorities expressed concerns on the impact of marine life and whether the extraction of kinetic energy from the system will affect flow in the East River. Verdant Power modelled the flow using Ansys CFX and found that the impact will be minimal. For instance, energy extraction will increase the water depth by 12 mm from the inlet of the East Channel to the extraction planes, resulting in a water velocity reduction of -0.07 m/s.
Verdant Power’s Free Flow Kinetic Hydropower System uses three-bladed, horizontal-axis turbines deployed underwater to generate clean renewable energy from tidal and river currents.
The Free Flow System is installed fully underwater and operates automatically and invisible from shore. The system does not require dams or other major civil works, and does not redirect the natural flow of the water. Modular in design, the Free Flow System can be scaled to generate clean energy in a wide range of sites worldwide.