Verdant Power operated a grid-connected demonstration array of six KHPS turbines at the RITE Project site in the East Channel of the East River, referred to as the RITE Demonstration. In December 2006, the first grid-connected KHPS turbine was installed, followed by the other five turbines in 2007. The successful RITE demonstration is the world’s first grid-connected array of tidal turbines and consisted of:
- A Project boundary of approximately 1.2 acres, including shoreline lands for interconnection;
- Project works consisting of:
- Five 35 kW, 5-meter diameter axial flow Gen4 Kinetic Hydropower System (KHPS) turbines and one dynamometry turbine unit;
- Six monopile mounts;
- 480-volt underwater cables from each generating turbine to the shoreline switchgear vaults that were connected to a control room and interconnection points;
- 7000+ hours of operation with ~50 MW of electricity delivered, and
- Appurtenant faculties for navigation and operation.
The RITE demonstration transmitted electricity from the KHPS to end users, demonstrating the ability of the system to provide grid-connected power, with no switching or power quality problems. The RITE demonstration also included ground-breaking environmental monitoring activities for tidal energy that informed studies to be conducted during later stages of the project (RITE Pilot).
East Channel of East River - tidal strait connecting Long Island Sound to Atlantic Ocean through New York Harbor at New York, NY, USA. Turbines were at 10 meters depth.
The RITE Demonstration was completed in October 2008 and the demonstration turbines were removed in November 2008.
The RITE Demonstration (a grid-connected demonstration of a multi-turbine Gen4 KHPS at the RITE site) took place under the FERC Verdant Order, a joint Section 10/404/401 Water Quality Certification issued by NYSDEC and USACE, and an underwater lands lease issued by NYSOGS. The consent process for the RITE Demonstration started in 2002 and work began in late 2006. Public involvement included stakeholder meetings, work groups, public meetings and notice and comment periods. The following is a brief procedural history:
- 2002: FERC Issues Preliminary Permit for the RITE Project
- 2002-04: Initial Consultation Document, Stakeholder and Scoping Meetings
- 2006: FERC Verdant Order, NYSDEC/USACE Section 10/404/401 Permit for the RITE Demonstration
- 2006-08: RITE demonstration and environmental monitoring
Aquatic Life - The East River supports a variety of resident and migrating aquatic species, including winter flounder, Atlantic tomcod, striped bass, bay anchovy and American eel. The two relatively common fish species are the Atlantic silverside and the northern pipefish.
Terrestrial Resources - A variety of birds inhabit the area, with some using the East River for feeding or resting. Dominant species include the double-crested cormorant and a variety of gulls.
Rare, Threatened and Endangered Species - Two federally-listed endangered fish species, the shortnose sturgeon and the Atlantic sturgeon, are known to traverse the area. The threatened green turtle and loggerhead turtle, and the endangered Kemp's ridlet turtle and leatherback turtle may be present in the area. The Biological Assessment for the RITE Project rated the probability for interaction with these species to be low.