The RITE Project (East River, NYC)
Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project is located in the East Channel of the East River, a tidal strait connecting Long Island Sound with the Atlantic Ocean in New York Harbor. Through the use of the Free Flow System, the project generates clean energy from the natural tidal currents of the East River.
The RITE Project operates under a Hydrokinetic Pilot Project License from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (Project No. P-12611) and a Water Quality Certification from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, making it the first commercially-licensed tidal power project in the United States.
Phase One Installation: Fall 2020
The RITE Project is being developed in a phased approach, with the first phase planned for installation in Fall 2020 as an array of three Gen5 Free Flow System turbines on a TriFrame™ mount, generating 105 kW of power for delivery to the New York City grid.
The installation will demonstrate the advanced Gen5 system and allow for analysis of the TriFrame™ as a cost-effective solution for the installation, operations, and maintenance of tidal energy systems. Funding support is being provided by the US Department of Energy's Water Power Technologies Office and the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority (NYSERDA). Learn more >
Verdant Power has conducted in-water testing of the Free Flow System at the RITE Project since 2002, advancing the system to the current 5th generation (Gen5). During 2006-08, Verdant demonstrated the Gen4 Free Flow System at RITE, representing the world’s first operation of a grid-connected tidal turbine array and successfully demonstrating the technology as an efficient source of clean energy with the following outcomes:
Grid-connected power with no power quality problems
Fully bi-directional operation with high efficiency on both ebb and flood tides
Automatic control and continuous, unattended operation
No fouling or damage from debris
9,000 turbine-hours of operation
Operational and environmental monitoring data gathered through this demonstration formed the basis for Verdant Power's application to FERC for its pilot license application, as well as advancement to the Gen5 system. Further advancements and testing at RITE in 2012 advanced the composite rotor design.
Gen5 Turbines on TriFrame
(Planned Installation Fall 2020)
Gen5 Rotor Test at RITE (2012)
Energy Generation at RITE
The East River is a tidal strait with strong water currents that change direction between flood and ebb tides approximately four times each day (with periods of little or noflow between tides, called “slack tide”). As shown in the figure below, when the water velocity exceeds approximately 1.0 m/s (3.3 ft/s or 2 knots), the turbine blades begin to rotate and the units generate electricity for approximately 4.5 hours (red areas in figure). As the tide shifts direction, the turbines yaw (turn approximately 170 degrees) to generate power from the current flowing in the opposite direction. This cycle repeats in a very predictable manner approximately every 6 hours. The regular nature of tidal currents provides a significant advantage for tidal power as compared to other, less predictable resources like wind and solar power.