Annex IV distributes metadata forms (questionnaires) to solicit information from developers involved in environmental monitoring around marine renewable energy project sites around the world. This page provides project descriptions, baseline assessment, post-installation monitoring, and links to available data and reports. Content is updated on an annual basis.

Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration

Project Site Annex IV

Title: Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration
Developer:
Start Date:
December 01, 2006
Research End Date:
October 01, 2008
State:
Technology Type:
Info Updated:
March 02, 2018
Gen4 Kinetic Hydropower System (KHPS)
Project Status: 
Device no longer in the water
Technology: 
3-bladed, horizontal axis turbine system: Gen4 Kinetic Hydropower System (KHPS)
Project Scale: 
Demonstration array
Installed Capacity: 
1.05 MW
Description: 

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:

  1. A Project boundary of approximately 1.2 acres, including shoreline lands for interconnection;
  2. 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).

    Location: 

    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.

    Process Status: 

    The RITE Demonstration was completed in October 2008 and the demonstration turbines were removed in November 2008.

    Licensing Information: 

    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
    Key Environmental Issues: 

    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.

    Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration is located in United States of America.

    Baseline Assessment: Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration

    General Description:

    Environmental studies on project effects were conducted during the RITE demonstration as the basis for studies and adaptive management to be conducted during future array operations (RITE Pilot).

    ReceptorStudy Description Design and Methods Results Status
    • Physical Environment

    Geotechnical Seabed and Substrate Composition Surveys.

    Used for detailed bathymetric data, substrate characterization and evaluation of aquatic habitat. Side scan SONAR, sub-bottom SONAR, video grab samples.

    No sediment deposition due to high tidal velocities and aquatic habitat limited to transient use.

    Completed
    • Physical Environment

    Velocity measurements.

    Stationary ADCPs within field Mobile ADCP surveys.

    Establish the water velocity profiles for the project.

    Completed
    • Physical Environment

    Hydrodynamic Analysis.

    Analysis by field data, and models in micro, meso and macro scale.

    De-minimis effects of water level changes in field.

    Completed
    • Physical Environment

    Underwater Sound.

    Pre- and post- turbine deployment sound measurements.

    Ambient and turbine noise would not cause behavioral reactions or injury.

    Completed
    • Physical Environment

    Water Quality Sampling.

    Video grab samples.

    No sediment observed.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Fixed Hydroacoustic Array.

    24 split-beam transducers (SBT) pre and post deployment of turbines.

    24 split-beam transducers (SBT) pre and post deployment of turbines.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Mobile Hydroacoustic Survey.

    1 split-beam transducer on a vessel - day and night transects.

    Fish likely affected by vessel presence, very little relevant data collected.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Stationary DIDSON.

    Deployed from the shoreline for evaluation of technique.

    Fish observed in-shore in non-impact zones. Limited observations due to bio-fouling.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Mobile Netting.

    Transects using a small net mounted on a vessel.

    Very little data collected.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Stationary Netting.

    Fixed vessel with netting gear.

    Fish likely affected due to vessel presence. Some concurrence on species.

    Completed
    • Birds

    Bird Observation Study.

    Shoreline observations during daylight hours pre- and post-deployment of turbines.

    Cormorants (diving birds) observed feeding during or close to slack tide when turbines were not rotating. No changes seen in number and-or behavior during turbine operation.

    Completed
    • Other

    Rare Threatened and Endangered (RTE) species assessment.

    Observations of RTE species in the form of the studies listed above.

    No RTE species observed during demonstration.

    N/A
    Reports and Papers
    Research
    • Environmental assessment supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)

    Post-Installation Monitoring: Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration

    General Description:

    Monitoring occurred during the RITE Demonstration as described above.  This activity informed the development of the RITE Monitoring of Environmental Effects (RMEE) Plans to be conducted under adaptive management during later stages of the RITE Project (RITE Pilot).

    ReceptorMonitoring Program Description Design and Methods Results Status
    • Physical Environment

    Underwater Sound.

    Pre- and post- turbine deployment sound measurements.

    Ambient and turbine noise would not cause behavioral reactions or injury.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Fixed Hydroacoustic Array.

    24 split-beam transducers (SBT) pre and post deployment of turbines.

    24 split-beam transducers (SBT) pre and post deployment of turbines.

    Completed
    • Fish and Fisheries

    Mobile DIDSON/SBT Surveys.

    Paired DIDSON and split-beam transducer mounted on a vessel for observations during turbine operations.

    Observed fish interactions that suggested avoidance behavior around an operating turbine.

    Completed
    • Birds

    Bird Observation Study.

    Shoreline observations during daylight hours pre- and post-deployment of turbines.

    Cormorants (diving birds) observed feeding during or close to slack tide when turbines were not rotating. No changes seen in number and-or behavior during turbine operation.

    Completed
    • Other

    Rare Threatened and Endangered (RTE) species assessment.

    Observations of RTE species in the form of the studies listed above.

    No RTE species observed during demonstration.

    N/A
    Reports and Papers
    Research
    • Environmental assessment supported by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
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