RITE Waves to Roosevelt Island as River Turbines Power On

The real science fiction is that fish swimming in the river. (Popular Mechanics)

Those who rage about the underused bounty of natural energy that surrounds New York City, rage no more. As the 10-year journey to get the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project (RITE) up and running has finally been sunk. To the bottom of the East River, that is.

According to The Roosevelt Island blog, work will now begin on the RITE project, owned by Verdant Power,  after the renewable energy company gained a license from The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. The project will do more than just help clean up the environment but also also help people keep their houses, with Verdant allowed to sell the energy generated, to local customers.

“A long-term affordable housing plan will not be able to overcome the reality that we heat, cool, and power our homes in an inefficient way,” Jonathan Kalkin, former Roosevelt Island Operating Corp Board Director, told The Roosevelt Islander, “This creates the scenario of an affordable home without affordable power. A person should not lose their home because they can’t afford their electric bill.”

Under the license Verdant will build 30 turbines on the East River bed, using tidal currents to generate electricity. During previous prototype testing, six turbines operated for 9,000 hours with complete success, delivering 70 megawatt-hours of energy.

“FERC’s pilot process is doing what it should: allow for exploration of new renewable technologies while protecting the environment,” said Jon Wellinghoff, FERC Chairman.

sduffy@observer.com RITE Waves to Roosevelt Island as River Turbines Power On