Founded in 2000, Verdant Power's mission is to help build sustainable communities through a holistic approach focused on clean energy generation as well as advancing partnerships and hybrid platforms to make significant impacts at the water-energy nexus. 

Verdant Power develops technologies and projects that generate village- and utility-scale energy from the free-flowing currents of tides, rivers, and canals, referred to as 'marine' or 'marine & hydrokinetic (MHK)' energy.  Marine energy systems are next-generation clean energy technologies that can provide electricity in a predictable manner for populations near water currents.

Through its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project in the East River of New York City and other initiatives worldwide, Verdant has developed industry-leading capabilities in the areas of marine energy systems design and operations; water resource assessment and site feasibility analysis; and environmental monitoring and project licensing.

Verdant has been a trailblazer in marine energy since the company's inception.  As one of the industry's first active participants, Verdant has evaluated and conducted in-water testing of various marine energy systems over the past two decades, gaining a level of hands-on experience and depth of knowledge unmatched today.  This experience has led the company to advance its Free Flow System to the current 5th generation commercial class. 

In 2005, Verdant Power sought permission from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) to test a six-turbine Free Flow System array at the RITE Project site in the East Channel of the East River.  In a precedent-setting declaratory order, referred to as the 'Verdant Order', FERC ruled that this activity could proceed in order to demonstrate the technology and gather data necessary to apply for a commercial license.  Under this ruling, Verdant operated the world's first array of tidal turbines, which generated and delivered electricity from the currents of the East River to two commercial end-users.  Based on operational and environmental data gathered during the demonstration at RITE, Verdant Power applied for and, in 2012, received the first commercial license for a tidal power project in the United States.

Verdant Power continues to conduct resource assessment and feasibility analysis (RAFA) studies for future projects in the US and, alongside in-country partners, in areas including the UK, Canada, Asia, and Africa, among others.  Verdant also seeks to integrate its systems with other clean energy and infrastructure systems worldwide to develop sustainable communities and impact at the 'water-energy' nexus.


Due to the groundbreaking nature of its work, Verdant Power has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Discovery Channel, The National Geographic Channel, NBC Nightly News, CBS Evening News, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Time Magazine, USA Today, and Warner Independent Pictures' “The 11th Hour.”


Verdant Power is headquartered in New York, NY with subsidiaries in Canada and the UK.  In 2014, Verdant partnered with Irish contractor Belleville Duggan Renewables to form Verdant Isles Ltd., which is focused on project development in Ireland.


Corporate Operations

John Banigan, Chief Executive Officer & Chief Financial Officer

John Banigan is broadly experienced in international investment banking and corporate advisory services to private and public companies, as well as fund management companies.  He has extensive senior management experience related to corporate and trade finance and investment banking operations in Asia, Latin America, and the US.  He has managed mature financial services operations, directed the finance function at a range of public and private companies, formed start-up businesses, and consummated foreign-based joint ventures.

Ron Smith, Co-Founder & Chief Operating Officer

Ron Smith has served as an industry manager at Booz-Allen Hamilton, Bendix Corporation, and the US Navy.  At Booz-Allen, he played a lead role in building the firm’s Worldwide Technology Business Change Management Practice.  For the Bendix Aerospace Group he provided strategic and operational consulting to over 20 mechanical and electronic manufacturing divisions as one of two members of the Group Management Advisory Staff.  He was a US Navy carrier pilot in Vietnam and also served as an organizational development consultant to Navy units, commands, and staff.  He retired as a Commander and naval intelligence officer. 

Trey Taylor, Co-Founder & Chief Commercial Officer

Trey Taylor has a wide range of experience in business management and development, marketing and communications. He founded and served as President of the Interactive Marketing Institute and has held senior positions at Edison Electric Institute, ITT Corporation, British Telecom, Ogilvy & Mather, and Procter & Gamble.  He currently serves on the Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee for the US Department of Commerce and the New York City Council Green Export Initiative Advisory Council. Previously he served on the Board of Directors for the Hydro Research Foundation and on the CEO Council for the American Council on Renewable Energy.

Aaron Hernandez, Director of Corporate Development

Aaron Hernandez has an extensive background in the corporate and non-profit sectors, including experience in operations and organizational development; grants acquisition and management; corporate communications; and project planning and budgeting.

Engineering & Technical

Dean Corren, Chief Technology Officer

Dean Corren has over 30 years of experience in the field of energy research and systems design.  He is the original innovator of the Free Flow System design, responsible for the research conducted from theory to model tests and full scale prototypes during his time as a Research Scientist for the New York University Department of Applied Science.  He has also served four terms in the Vermont House of Representatives, and chaired the Burlington Electric Commission.

Mary Ann Adonizio, PE; Director of Projects & Resource Assessment

Mary Ann Adonizio has 30 years of experience in electric utility capital project implementation, in particular construction, operation and maintenance for small hydroelectric and transmission projects.  She also provides feasibility and financial/economic planning; regulatory licensing and permitting; and environmental risk management services for renewable energy projects. 

Jonathan Colby, Director of Technology Performance

Jonathan Colby has been with the company since 2006 after completing a master’s degree from the College of Aerospace Engineering at the Georgia Institute of Technology with an emphasis on experimental fluid mechanics.  His work includes turbine blade design, hydrodynamic modeling and analysis, and site operation responsibilities. He is a recognized leader on the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) Technical Committee for Wave, Tidal, and Other Water Current Converters (TC 114) developing International Standards, and is active on the IEC Conformity Assessment Board (CAB) supporting the creation of a Conformity Assessment System for the Renewable Energy industry, including the Marine Energy sector. 



The natural movement of tidal and river currents, as well as the water flowing through existing manmade structures such as irrigation canals and dam spillways, holds the potential for significant clean energy generation worldwide. 

Water resources can provide energy generation that is renewable, highly predictable, and sourced in close proximity to load centers.  And, as many marine energy systems are oftentimes deployed fully under water, they do not create the viewshed interruptions and other NIMBY issues that arise with the construction of other energy facilities. 

The links below provide further detail on the potential of marine energy resources around the world and the emerging industry as a whole:

Quick Links

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