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NY - Tides of Change in New York

New York may soon benefit from an injection of tidal power into its grid as tidal energy startup Verdant Power installs a half-scale generator in the East River tidal strait. We explore what this means for the city's energy mix and if it could serve as a test case for other coastal cities.

Tidal energy works by converting the movement of the tides, in areas with a significant tidal range, into electricity. Despite the relative predictability of tides however, this type of energy production is still in its infancy.

In October 2020, New York-based marine renewable energy start-up Verdant Power made headway, installing three tidal power turbine generators in the city’s East River tidal strait as part of the company’s 5th generation tidal turbine system. The deployment of Verdant’s technology also marked the first licensed tidal power project in the US.

Verdant has already secured $6m in funding for the project, as well as support from the US Department of Energy and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, in addition to New York-based private equity capital support. The company is also waiting for an independent performance assessment from the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) tidal testing facility to deploy the technology outside of the US.

Verdant’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project

New York City is now closer than it has ever been to seeing tidal power injected into its local grid, with Verdant’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) project expected to have a significant impact on the Big Apple’s renewables goals.

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