New York, NY, Sept. 18, 2008 — Verdant Power has retrofitted two of its tidal turbines with 5th-generation rotors and successfully re-installed the units in the East River. The two grid-connected 35kWe turbines are now delivering clean renewable energy from the tides of the East River to a Gristedes supermarket and the RIOC Motorgate parking structure on Roosevelt Island in New York City. Verdant Power’s Kinetic Hydropower Systems use axial-flow turbines, resembling present-day wind turbines, installed underwater to convert the kinetic energy of tides and rivers into electricity without the use of dams.
The company’s new rotor assembly (blades and hub) was optimized for enhanced structural strength and was subjected to a testing regimen at the U.S. Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), the nation’s primary laboratory for renewable energy and energy efficiency research and development. The entire rotor assembly passed the tests successfully without incident.
This installation is part of Phase 2 of Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project. Through RITE, Verdant Power installed what stands as the world’s first grid-connected array of tidal turbines. In 2007, the 4th-Generation rotors installed on these turbines experienced structural failures, though all other system components operated beyond expectations, with water-to-wire efficiencies of 30 to 40 percent and the delivery of over 45 MWh of energy.
The new rotors were retrofitted onto the turbines within a day’s time, employing local resources.
Since 2005, Verdant Power has been gathering operational and environmental data from the turbines at the RITE Project with plans to apply for a commercial license from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) in 2008. The RITE Project has received funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) and the New York City Economic Development Corp.
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