The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project is the first "free-flow" tidal energy project to be deployed in the United States and the world for commercialization as a distributed renewable energy solution. Free-flow hydropower uses the kinetic energy from natural water flow of tides, rivers, and other man-made structures such as aqueducts and tailraces. Significant kinetic energy is available in rapidly flowing water, faster than two to three knots, which can be used as a renewable energy source without civil works and/or impoundments. The RITE Project is the initial demonstration and commercialization of free-flow hydropower in the United States.
The RITE Project has a preliminary permit from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) as FERC Project No. 11278. The proposed project will be up to a 10 MW hydropower generating station to be owned and operated by Verdant Power, LLC (Verdant, or "the Company"). The proposed project will be located on the East River along the east shore of Roosevelt Island, Manhattan Borough of New York City, New York County, New York. The preliminary permit for the project was issued September 9, 2002 and is effective until September 1, 2005.
Although the requirements of free-flow hydropower are significantly different and the impacts much less than traditional, conventional hydropower installations, Verdant intends to license the project using the framework of FERC's traditional licensing process. Verdant will integrate cooperative consultation throughout this process consisting of regularly scheduled meetings with interested groups and organizations to address study needs, review study reports and results, and develop a set of mutually agreeable resource enhancement measures for inclusion in the license application. Verdant will file an initial license application with FERC no later than September 1, 2005, the expiration date for the preliminary permit.
This Initial Consultation Document (ICD) describes the overall setting of the proposed project including the location, physical description, operation, tidal flow, and environmental resources. Additionally, the ICD describes licensing resource evaluations and general methodologies, which might be employed to gather additional information to aid development of mutually agreeable resource enhancement measures to integrate into the license application for the RITE Project.