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Tidal Energy Project Enters Groundbreaking Final Phase


Verdant Power’s East River tidal energy (RITE) project nears its finish. Three new turbines are ready, assembled on a TriFrame, and they spring into action this fall.

By David Stone

Fifteen years ago, Verdant Power earned approval for the world’s first demonstration of tidal turbines in the East River. Since then, quietly, using powerful tides sweeping past Roosevelt Island, trials and tests moved this project toward completion.

About the East River Tidal Energy (RITE)Project

The first turbines started up in 2007, generating power for Gristedes and Motorgate.

East River Tidal Energy Project: Verdant Power turbines mounted on TriFrame
Verdant Power’s new turbines mounted on a TriFrame, ready for East River tides

But this summer, when three new RITE turbines start producing energy, the project becomes a larger demonstration center. That’s according to Trey Taylor, Verdant cofounder, in a Waterfront Alliance story.

Dreaming big, the Verdant team thinks about hybrid solar and wind systems connected to hydro-power, even a Roosevelt Island micro-grid, as the future of the East River Tidal Energy Project.

East River currents inspire. “You could have outlets for electric vehicles charged by tidal power” in Motorgate, Taylor, told Waterfront Alliance. “It’ll be fun PR.”

“This is the final pre-commercialization phase in a process that saw 23 government agencies approve the RITE Project,” said Verdant Power CEO John T. Banigan in a press release.

“We are proud to have been the first licensed tidal power project in the U.S.”

Banigan added, “The RITE Project not only will demonstrate clean power from the tidal currents, but also will demonstrate tidal power as a viable energy resource advancing our industry in the U.S. and globally.”

The East River Tidal Energy Project puts Roosevelt Island squarely on the front line of renewable sources in New York and the world.

Now with the turbines assembled on their frame, they will next be shipped to the East River site. Verdant’s RITE control room is also prepping for this next phase of game-changing power generation.


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