The RITE Pilot Project, licensed under FERC P-12611, builds on the successful RITE demonstration that was developed from 2006-08. The RITE Pilot consists of:
- A Project boundary of approximately 21 acres, including shoreline lands for interconnection;
- Project works consisting of up to:
- Thirty 35 kW, 5-meter diameter axial flow Gen5 Kinetic Hydropower Systems (KHPS) turbines;
- Ten TriFrame mounts, each of which will support 3 KHPS turbines;
- 480-volt underwater cables from each turbine to the shoreline switchgear vaults that will interconnect to a control room and interconnection points, and
- Appurtenant faculties for navigation and operation.
In accordance with the FERC Pilot Project License, the RITE Pilot Project will be installed in stages with commensurate environmental monitoring as follows:
- Install A: Two Gen5 Turbines on existing monopiles (reconfigured as under Install B-1)
- Install B-1: Install a single TriFrame, consisting of three Gen5 turbines (Planned 2018)
- Install B-2: Install up to three additional TriFrames, consisting of up to nine Gen5 turbines (Potential)
- Install C: Install up to six additional TriFrames, consisting of up
East Channel of East River - tidal strait connecting Long Island Sound to Atlantic Ocean through New York Harbor at New York, NY, USA. Turbines installed at 10 meters depth.
As of November 2016, a TriFrame with 3 Gen5 5m KHPS turbines is planned for installation under the RITE Pilot during 2018-2019, under provision of the FERC license as Install B-1. Pre-project construction has commenced and the TriFrame is undergoing a design cycle. Environmental monitoring (RMEE) plans under adaptive management will be executed in conjunction with the project.
The 1.05 MW RITE Project (RITE Pilot) was licensed under the first FERC Hydrokinetic Pilot Project License, which was issued in conjunction with a 401 Water Quality Certification (WQC) permit issued by NYSDEC, an underwater lands lease issued by NYSOGS, and CZMA concurrence issued by NYSDOS. The RITE Pilot consent process began in late 2008 and the FERC license was issued January 2012. Throughout the consent process the following key organizations have been involved: NYSDEC, NYSDOS, USACE, USEPA, NMFS/NOAA, USCG, NYSOGS, and others. Public involvement included stakeholder meetings, work groups, public meetings, and public notice and comment periods. The following is a brief procedural history:
- November 25, 2008: FERC Draft License Application filed for RITE Pilot
- May 1, 2009: Notice and Letter issued grating waivers for use of Pilot Procedures
- December 29, 2010: FERC Final License Application filed for RITE Pilot
- January, 2011: NYSDEC, USACE Section 10/404/401 Permit Applications filed and CZMA filed
- February 2, 2011: REA Notice issued; June 6, 2011: Comments filed
- August 2011: NYSDEC WQC (401/404) public comment; October 2011: Comments filed
- December 13, 2011: NYSDEC grants 10-year Water Quality Certification (WQC) (301/404)
- January 23, 2012: FERC 10-year Hydrokinetic Pilot Project License issued, incorporating WQC terms
- USACE Section 10/404 Permit: pending
Under an adaptive management framework working with local and federal natural resource agencies, Verdant Power will execute a comprehensive set of environmental monitoring and safeguard plans to ensure the safe operation of the RITE Pilot Project. These efforts include a set of environmental monitoring plants - the RITE Monitoring of Environmental Effects (RMEE) plans - which will be conducted throughout the phased development of the project to observe the interaction of aquatic species with the natural environment, particularly as the project grows to include larger arrays of operating turbines. These plans are extensions of prior RITE monitoring efforts, which showed no evidence of negative impact to the local environment in the project area.
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 ridley 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. However, as part of its monitoring, Verdant Power will continue to observe and report any interaction between these species and the project during operation.