Monday, August 13, 2007

Renewable Energy Technology Being Tested on Roosevelt Island - Is Al Gore a Happy Man?

Verdant Power, an entrepreneurial renewable energy company, is testing a potential source for the production of clean, environmentally friendly electricity that does not contaminate the air or rely on foreign oil right here on Roosevelt Island and was the subject of a NY Times story today.
According to the story:

The idea of generating electricity by harnessing the power of a flowing river — called hydrokinetic energy — is attracting growing attention.

Basically, the East River turns the turbines’ blades as it flows past. The turbines, like windmills, generate electricity that is channeled through wires to a central control unit and from there to the existing electricity grid.

Hydro turbines have a few advantages over windmills. While winds are erratic, tides can be charted by the minute, which allows power companies to know exactly when the turbines will be generating power.

Verdant chose the East River because it is fast-flowing and is close to where the energy it produces would be used. The East River’s unique character also played a role. The river’s tide changes direction each day, flowing north and then turning around and pushing toward the ocean.

But just before the tide shifts, there is a window of about 45 minutes of calm that allows Verdant to install, repair or tweak its turbines.

The NY Times also has a video on the Roosevelt Island Verdant Power Tidal Turbines.
For more on this story visit Chemical and Engineering News (one never knows where an interesting or topical link can be found) and the always informative and reliable Main Street Wire and here as well


Anonymous said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention, and for raising the profile of the Island in the outside world. One wonders why this hasn't received more positive play from the green community, and why there are more projects like this.

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