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 (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
The RITE Demonstration was completed in October 2008 and the demonstration turbines were removed in November 2008.
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.
- Verdant Power; Initial Consultation Document (ICD) for the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project; FERC Project Number 12178; October 2003
- Verdant Power; Final Pilot License Application for the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project; FERC Project Number 12611; December 2012
- Verdant Power RITE Environmental Assessment Project; Supported by NYSERDA; March 2011
Baseline Assessment: Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration
|Receptor||Study Description||Design and Methods||Results||Status|
|Fish||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.||Complete|
|Fish||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.||Complete|
|Fish||Stationary DIDSON.||Deployed from the shoreline for evaluation of technique.||Fish observed in-shore in non-impact zones. Limited observations due to bio-fouling.||Complete|
|Fish||Mobile Netting.||Transects using a small net mounted on a vessel.||Very little data collected.||Complete|
|Fish||Stationary Netting.||Fixed vessel with netting gear.||Fish likely affected due to vessel presence. Some concurrence on species.||Complete|
|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.||Complete|
|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.||Complete|
|Physical Environment||Velocity measurements.||Stationary ADCPs within field Mobile ADCP surveys.||Establish the water velocity profiles for the project.||Complete|
|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.||Complete|
|Physical Environment||Underwater Sound.||Pre- and post- turbine deployment sound measurements.||Ambient and turbine noise would not cause behavioral reactions or injury.||Complete|
|Physical Environment, Water Quality||Water Quality Sampling.||Video grab samples.||No sediment observed.||Complete|
Post-Installation Monitoring: Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project Demonstration
|Stressor||Receptor||Study Description||Design and Methods||Results||Status|
|Collision||Fish||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.||Complete|
|Noise||Fish, Marine Mammals||Underwater Sound.||Pre- and post- turbine deployment sound measurements.||Ambient and turbine noise would not cause behavioral reactions or injury.||Complete|
|Habitat Change||Fish||Fixed Hydroacoustic Array.||24 split-beam transducers (SBT) pre and post deployment of turbines.||Complete|
|Habitat Change||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.||Complete|