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Let’s turn (to) the tide at more places!

After the UN 2023 water conference, and as the Dutch do, I rented a bicycle for the weekend and toured NY.

Stop 1: Roosevelt Island in the East River, a tidal site that I have been following since my research days at University of Strathclyde and first visited in 2009 and now 14 years later again.

First, inventor Philippe Vauthier tested a 4 meter 60 kW rated prototype of his Underwater Electric Kite (UEK) from 1987 to 1988 in the East River in New York City near Hell’s Gate.

Later, New York University with sponsoring from the New York Power Authority and the U.S. Department of Energy proposed a 30 kW experimental prototype, developed by Gabriel Miller. The 3 bladed turbine would be mounted to the bridge.

Verdant, tidal energy, Roosevelt, East River
Sketch for plan by Miller for a 3-bladed, 30kWp tidal stream turbine mounted to Roosevelt Island Bridge.

Dreams became a reality with the Verdant Power project, dubbed the RITE project (Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy), which subsequently tested 3 variants of their turbine, testing different blade materials and monitoring passing fish.

Under the leadership of Jonathan Colby the 5th generation of their turbines was installed. Three turbines, each rated 35kWp pre-installed on their TriFrame were deployed on the river bed of the tidal river.

Verdant Power’s tidal power array being deployed at New York’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Site in 2000. (Photo courtesy of Verdant Power)

In August 2020, Verdant Power’s turbines were the first technology to undergo a full power performance assessment by EMEC: European Marine Energy Centre as a recognized Renewable Energy Test Lab (RETL) making this the first internationally-recognised Renewable Energy Test Report (RETR) for marine energy convertors to go through the IECRE system. A major milestone towards bankable tidal energy project.

Let’s turn (to) the tide at more places!

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