Tidal Turbine Project in New York City's East River Gets a Face Lift
One of the Phase 2 tidal turbines being prepared for installation back in 2007. Photo: Kris Unger/Verdant Power, Inc.
Your average New Yorker probably doesn’t think very often about the force of water flowing in the East River (actually not a river at all, but a tidal channel). But if you’re Verdant Power and the force of water in the channel has shredded the blades of two previous versions of the tidal turbines you’ve installed as part of the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project (RITE) you probably have to think about it more often than you’d like. Though thanks to a recent tidal turbine retrofit, worrying about the robustness of your turbines is lower down on the list:Tidal Turbines Will Power 10,000 Homes, EventuallyThe re-installation of the new aluminum alloy turbine blades took less than a day’s time and is part of Phase 2 of the three phase RITE project, which is testing the viability of tidal power in New York City. Since late 2006 the project has been feeding electricity to a local Gristede’s Supermarket. When fully completed the project will generate enough power for 10,000 New York homes (Washington Post).
NYC Uses 12 Gigawatts of PowerFor an idea of how much power the city of New York uses, according to Stephen Hammer of Columbia University (quoted in the Washington Post article linked above) the city’s peak energy consumption is about 12,000 megawatts. If the city is going to make good on Mayor Bloomberg’s recent statements that the Big Apple will be a leader in renewable energy use, though they may be a part of the equation, tidal turbines will only be a small factor.
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