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Alternative Energy Opportunities in New York City: The East River

September 16, 2020

Tidal Power

What is tidal power?

Tidal power is created by converting energy from the tides to electricity using turbines places underwater. Unlike the wind and the sun, tides are very predictable making it a very reliable method of harnessing energy.

Recently, Verdant Power announced it is developing an $8M project to install tidal turbines at the bottom of the East River in New York City, with the capacity to power an estimated 100 homes. Verdant first tested the technology in the East River in 2007 when it installed a tidal turbine to power a supermarket operating for 2 years. Following this Verdant successfully raised $46M from the DOE and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority.

The local utility Con Edison holds the project with high esteems in furthering the development of renewable energy technologies. A principal advantage of tidal turbines is how these can be strategically placed near ports and rivers near city centers. This can reduce transmission and infrastructure costs associated with tidal turbines. On the other hand the late start of tidal power brings about high maintenance, build, and operating costs. However renewable energy initiatives such as tidal power, storage technologies, and other methods of generation will slowly attain economies of scale to benefit the global energy transition.