Tidal power projects are embodying on the East River in New York

This image shows three turbines from Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island tidal power project on the East River in New York.

Green power

Over the years, the East River in New York City has been sung and commemorated, providing iconic shots of the film and even influencing the composition of the poem.

From ferries that take commuters to work to large vessels that carry cargo, this water area is a tidal strait that has been heavily polluted for many years and can be a vibrant hive of activity.

For some time, there were also plans focused on the development of tidal power. Tidal power is a type of renewable energy that can play an important role in the coming years.

Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project has been in development since 2002. This initiative went one step further when a new three-turbine tidal power array was installed in late October.

The broad goal of the latest development — Verdant Power previously installed turbines on the East River — is to serve as a pre-commercial “tech demonstration” of the company’s 5th generation turbine systems and TriFrame mounting technology.

One aspect of operation is assessing how the turbine works in the environment. “We plan to do a’recovery and exchange’operation in six months,” Verdant Power CEO John Vanigan said in a recent telephone interview.

He explained that one turbine would be removed from the installation system and replaced with another, and the technology would be redeployed for “at least” six months of further operation.

“We will examine these components, the internal organs, the behavior of the turbine itself, and learn what can be done after six months of operation in harsh environments. Corrosive seawater,” Vanigan said of the turbine removed from the water. Environment — I’m sure it will happen just to make sure everything is as expected. ”

In terms of size, the scheme is small. Each turbine in Verdant Power’s facility has a capacity of only 35 kW, and co-founder Trey Taylor describes it as a “demonstration project” designed to be easily expanded for any application. Size, (and a) water depth up to 60 meters. Turbine capacity is based on a rotor diameter of 5 meters and an average tidal velocity of 2.25 meters per second.

Verdant Power is funded by organizations such as the US Department of Energy and the New York State Department of Energy Research and Development. Despite being a small demonstration scheme, its state-of-the-art equipment began generating electricity under a pilot commercial license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The system is connected to Conedison’s local grid and can power Roosevelt Island.

Plans and possibilities

Recent steps represent yet another example of how tidal-focused schemes are being developed and tested around the world.

This includes Nova Innovation, which installed three turbines at the Shetland Islands site in Scotland in 2016. A fourth unit was added in 2020 as part of a project to expand an array that has been powering the grid for over four years. Now — to 6 turbines.

Another development that is also being developed in the waters of northern Scotland is the MeyGen tidal array. According to an operational update issued in January, the first phase of the array, consisting of four 1.5 MW turbines, sent more than 13.8 MW of electricity to the grid last year.

This figure represents a significant increase compared to the record high of 7.4GWh recorded in 2018.

Future tasks

The ocean-based renewable energy sector has grand plans (for example, the European Union wants to increase 40 GW of ocean energy, including tidal and wave power, from the current 13 MW by 2050. There are various challenges. For technology development and expansion.

The International Energy Agency states that marine technology has “great potential”, but in order to “enable cost savings associated with the commissioning of large commercial plants,” research, design and development He added that additional policy support is needed.

Returning to the United States, Verdant Power’s Banigan cited a variety of similar factors that could play an important role in the future.

He explained how the industry and his company will face the challenge of embarking on pilot projects and evolving them into full-scale commercial projects over the next few years.

“The second is to reduce costs over time, which is caused by the implementation of actual projects and the production or development of large amounts of business and capital goods,” he added.

He was optimistic about the future. “The biggest challenge for the industry is to open up markets while lowering costs, especially to compete with alternative renewable energy sources. We are in the process and will succeed.”

Tidal power projects are embodying on the East River in New York

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