On April 22, I attended the 2013 New York City Mayoral Forum on Sustainability, hosted by the New York League of Conservation Voters and the Cooper Union Institute for Sustainable Design. It was the first time all nine mayoral hopefuls appeared together. The candidates answered questions on issues from carbon emissions reduction to flood zone redevelopment to city parks. Here’s a summary of the participants’ comments on energy.
Archive for the ‘Tidal’ Category
New York State could get all of its electricity from renewable sources by 2030 and earn back its infrastructure investments in 10 years, according to a study by a team of researchers.
The researchers’ plan calls for 271 GW of energy with a mix of 40% offshore wind, 10% onshore wind, 10% concentrated solar, 10% mega PV plants, 12% commercial and government rooftop solar, 6% small residential PV, 5% geothermal, 1% tidal, 0.5% wave and 5.5% hydroelectric power, the majority of which is already in use.
The New York City-based tidal power company Verdant Power has announced plans to install 30 new underwater turbines in the East River as Phase 3 of its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project. The new installation will be the first tidal project in the U.S. to connect to the national electrical grid.
Phase 1 of the project operated between 2006 and 2008 and involved just six turbines that supplied 70 megawatt hours of power to two NYC businesses. In that experiment, the tips of some of the turbine blades broke off in the strong East River currents, but Verdant claims its next-generation turbine model should be more durable and also cheaper. An analysis of the environmental effects of the turbines (Phase 2) showed no significant impact on fish in the area.
The new 30-turbine system would provide 1 MW of power to the grid, although eventually Verdant hopes to output up to 500 MW. In comparison, the proposed offshore wind project in Long Island Sound would produce 350 MW of power, and a tidal project in the works in Scotland will total 200 MW. Scotland is a world leader in offshore tidal power, which could meet up to 20 percent of the UK’s electricity needs.
The East River project isn’t the only thing Verdant is working on. Notably, the company signed an agreement with China last May about developing tidal there. Given China’s excellent track record on incentives for businesses involved in renewable energy (and the U.S.’s poor one), it only makes sense for Verdant to explore those opportunities.
For the RITE Project and development of its new turbine design, Verdant obtained funding from the Department of Energy, NYSERDA, and the NYC Economic Development Council. If Verdant can clear the remaining regulatory hurdles, it is set to start installing the new turbines in late 2011.
Here’s the latest on green energy in New York City:
- New York Power Authority Advances Plan for Massive Solar PV Increase (Sunpluggers.com): NYC is one of the places NYPA says it will install PV.
- Verdant Power, China sign MOU (Environmental Leader): The company that runs the tidal power experiment in the East River will share its technology with China – for once NYC (and the U.S.) leads China on alternative power!
- Condo Owners Go for Green With Suit (Wall Street Journal): Tenants of a Battery Park City building say their building’s green claims were exaggerated.
A round-up of what’s going on with alternative energy in NYC from the past week:
- NYU, Johns Hopkins Deliver Climate Action Plans to Slash GHG Emissions (Environmental Leader): NYU’s plans include getting more energy from solar and wind power.
- Going with the Flow: Hydrokinetic Power Developers Face Technical and Regulatory Hurtles in Bid to Tap Tides (Scientific American): An update on Verdant Power’s tidal project in the East River.
- 15 Self-sufficient Skyscrapers Living Green Awesomeness (Ecofriend): I’m not sure how feasible these designs are, but they are pretty cool! Check out the Dragonfly in NYC.
A little over a year ago as a senior at NYU, I wrote my Honors Journalism Thesis on solar energy in New York City (see Sun City, Street Level Fall 2008). Since then, my career as a journalist has taken me in a bit of a different direction. However, I’m still very interested in alternative energy sources and so I’ve decided to start the NYC Renewable blog to get back into that world. (Full disclosure: I’d also like to keep my job options open by writing about a subject matter completely different from what I do for my day job.)
Since I’ve been out of the game for a while – and my expertise was only in solar at the time anyway – I’m going to take the next month to study up in order to be able to write intelligently about renewables in New York. Who knows, I may find that the topic is too narrow and I need to broaden it (or, unlikely, that taking on all the various energy alternatives is too daunting a task). I’ll also be taking this time to format the blog and develop its look.
As of right now, I plan on posting at least a weekly “must read” list of news articles and other sources, as much for myself as for anyone who might be reading the blog. Once I get into the swing of things, I envision posts on news, events, and hopefully one day interviews and original reporting.
Please check back regularly for updates, and feel free to leave comments and suggestions.