New York city wants to build about 300 turbines in their waterway. NY’s East River has strong, fluctuating currents, allowing an efficient generation of electricity. Once built, the wave-powered system can generate enough for 10,000 homes.
The city’s power consumption continues to grow yearly. They want to generate about 80% of the city’s energy by using these turbines and not only: they also plan to use wind and solar power.
In 2000, when this project was initially proposed, it was rejected by the state senate. The research the city has made on the impact these wave turbines will have on fish and bird populations shows that they’re harmless to them. For safety, regulations impose that the animal life must be monitored continuously.
The power of East River’s wave is so high that it had torn off their first equipments installed for testing. The third version of the system was thoroughly inspected and tested before being installed by Verdant Power, a small start-up company hired by the NY city hall to do the job. The results don’t let themselves waited: the installed turbines already power a nearby supermarket.
If the project is seen as viable after this testing phase, it may be extended and invested in. Investors will look for other opportunities and maybe install this type of tidal power in other places, to harness the rivers’ free energy. Cool thing, isn’t it?