Can The East River Power New York City?

on January 30, 2012 at 11:00 AM

Could New York City’s rivers power its famous lights?

A new tidal energy project located in New York City’s East River has the potential to create electricity that would be one of the first commercial installations of “hydrokinetic” projects in the US. The wave and tidal energy business, which is still in early stages of development, has been divided between large-scale installations and a focus on cheaply-deployed units that could be more easily installed to take advantage of the natural movement of waves and tides.

See more on wave energy on Breaking Energy here.

The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project, owned by Verdant Power, includes turbine generator units mounted on the riverbed and is forecast to product 1,050 kilowatts of power. The project, which was granted the first-ever pilot project license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for tidal energy recently, meets exacting environmental standards under the pilot licensing program, FERC said. The license also requires that the project be able to shut down under short notice.

FERC said in announcing the Verdant Power license that it has seen “rising interest” in the possibility of developing hydrokinetic projects and has issued 100 preliminary permits for feasibility studies; of those nine are in pre-filing stages of developing license applications and three have already filed.

See a video interview with National Hydropower Association executive director Linda Church-Ciocci, in which she discusses innovative hydro technology, here.

Photo Caption: The East River, with Roosevelt Island in the background.