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, which is a tidal strait connecting the Long Island Sound with the Atlantic Ocean in the New York Harbor.  Verdant Power has conducted prototype and pre-commercial testing of its Free Flow System at the RITE Project, as well as groundbreaking regulatory and environmental monitoring that has advanced the US marine energy industry.

First US Commercial License for Tidal Power
Because of its groundbreaking nature, the RITE Project has oftentimes served as the catalyst and venue for the advancement of regulatory processes supporting the US marine energy industry.  For example, in 2005 Verdant Power petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) for permission to conduct a demonstration of its Gen4 Free Flow System at the RITE Project.  This would represent the first grid-connected operation of a tidal turbine array in the world and no US regulatory processes were in place for such type of activity. Ultimately, FERC allowed Verdant to operate the system as a demonstration in order to gather the operational and environmental monitoring data necessary to apply for a federal permit.  This ruling, entitled the 'Verdant order', set a precedent for the marine energy industry and paved the way for the variety of demonstration efforts that have followed in the US.

Based on the data collected through a demonstration of the Gen4 Free Flow System at RITE,  Verdant Power submitted its application for a FERC Hydrokinetic Pilot Project License - a streamlined licensing procedure developed by FERC specifically for marine energy technologies.  And on January 23, 2012, FERC issued Verdant Power a 10-year license to install up to  1 MW of power (30 turbines/10 TriFrames) at the RITE Project, making it the first commercially-licensed tidal power project in the US.

RITE Project Boundary Map

[Click to Enlarge]

Generation 4 Free Flow System Demonstration

During 2006-09, Verdant Power completed a grid-connected demonstration of the Free Flow System (Gen4) at the RITE Project. The demonstration included the operation of six full-scale tidal turbines, which delivered electricity to operating New York City businesses, representing the world’s first operation of a grid-connected array of tidal turbines.

Through the effort, Verdant Power successfully demonstrated the Free Flow System as an efficient source of clean renewable energy with the following outcomes:

  • Grid-connected power to two commercial end users

  • Fully bidirectional operation – passive yawing 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 Generation 5 (Gen5) commercial class system.

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 no flow 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 Free Flow System turbine blades begin to rotate and the units generate electricity for approximately 4 hours (red areas in figure).  As the tide shifts direction, the turbine yaws (turns approximately 180 degrees on its pylon) to generate power from the current flowing in the opposite direction. This cycle repeats in a very predictable manner approximately every 6 hours.

Gen4 Turbine Installation at RITE

Latest News

EMEC to Assess Free Flow System Performance

The European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) will provide an independent performance assessment of Verdant Power’s 5th Generation (Gen5) Free Flow System to be deployed at the RITE Project in 2020.  By independently measuring the system's performance, EMEC will add credibility to operational results and set a new standard for tidal energy technology developers to meet globally.  More >

Verdant Power Secures $6 Million Funding for Final System Demonstration at RITE Project

Verdant Power has received $6 million in funding for the next phase of its program to advance the development of the Company’s tidal power system and TriFrame mount at its RITE Project in New York City's East River.  The U.S. Department of Energy’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) has approved $3M in co-funding support for the third phase of Verdant Power’s project that will qualify its tidal power system through to final test, demonstration and commercialization.  More >

Verdant Power Co-Founder Appointed to US Department of Commerce's Renewable Energy & Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee

Trey Taylor, Verdant Power Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer, has been appointed by US Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross to serve a fifth consecutive term on the Department’s Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Advisory Committee (REEEAC).  The REEEAC is composed of senior private sector representatives that provide advice to the Secretary of Commerce on the development and administration of programs and policies to expand the export competitiveness of US renewable energy and energy efficiency products and services.  More >

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Gen5 Rotor Testing at RITE (2012)