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Low-impact Kinetic Hydropower
Verdant Power is a world leader in commercializing low-impact kinetic hydropower solutions, harnessing the energy from river, tide, and man-made channels.
They have one prototype installation presently producing power for customers. Commercial production, following the conclusion of the prerequisite impact testing, is expected to commence at the end of 2008, beginning with expanding the New York City East River site to 300 turbines, from its present six, where the river flows over bedrock at around 2 meters per second, producing 1 megawatt-hour of electricity per day.
Eventually they envision an eleven-meter turbine which will generate one megawatt, to be situated in larger water-movement bodies such as Puget Sound.
- Kinetic Hydropower systems
- Free-Flow turbines
- RITE Project - Initiated in 2002, Verdant Power’s Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project is being operated in New York City’s East River.
- CORE Project - Verdant Power Canada’s Cornwall Ontario Renewable Energy (CORE) Project is planned for operation in the St. Lawrence River.
- Future Projects - California, Canada, International
- Download (14 Mb; mp3) - On June 9, 2007, Sterling D. Allan conducted a live, 1-hour interview with Trey Taylor, President of Verdant Power, as part of the Free Energy Now radio series.
- From Big Apple to Green Apple - New York City is in process of developing turbines to harness the energy of East River, which flows at 3-4 knots. Anticipated capacity: 20 MW, at cost estimated at 5 cents per kW-h -- much lower than existing power, which costs ~20 cents/kW-h. (DiscoveryChannel.ca; March 28, 2005)
The array of six turbines in NYC East River are powering a supermarket and a parking garage for state-owned, all-electric vehicles.
The company holds 16 patents, with 24 more ready to file.
Low-impact Hydro in General
The potential worldwide for plausible low-impact hydro power harnessing is 25 terawatts (25,000 gigawatts; or 25,000,000 megawatts; or 25,000,000,000 watts) -- enough to supply the world's energy needs.
Water flow has 800 times more energy density than dry air flow.
An increase of flow increases the power output as a function of a cube of the speed increase, so seasonal adjustments in a river flow will impact the power output of the turbine system significantly.
|type|| capacity factor|
The one-off prototype phase is, of course, expensive, with the price running between $4,800 and $5,000 per kilowatt installed. Once commercialization is achieved in late 2008, the price will come down to around $2,400/kw installed. A diesel generator costs in the region of $1,000/kw installed, but that does not take into consideration the ongoing cost of fuel, as well as the "externality costs" in impact on the environment and health.
The company has relied heavily on 3D design and simulation software in developing the turbine, and has come up with essentially the same conclusion for hydro turbines as the wind industry has come up with -- a three bladed turbine.
The company is in the middle of a three-year environmental impact site study per the stipulations of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and will conclude in the Summer of 2008.
The company has allocated $2 million US to study the environmental impact of the turbine system. Their equipment and data collection includes an advanced hydroacoustic monitoring system that enable them to continuously monitor (24/7) aquatic activity throughout the turbine area. They can observe as individual fish or schools of fish navigate through or around the turbines. Thus far, they have not observed any negative impact.
The 5-meter-diameter turbines spin at around 32 rpm. The leading edges of the blades are blunt so that if a fish happens to be in the path of the blade, it can sense the approaching blade and avoid being struck.
The company works closely both with local and other water-way groups to coordinate and mark the locations of the turbines, which are situated low enough beneath the surface for typical craft to pass over with no problem, if they happen to breach the marked-off segment of the river.
Verdant Power has reviewed forty different closely related technologies from around the world and is satisfied that their design and approach is superior, leading the pack.
Company: Verdant Power LLC
Verdant Power, a privately-held company, was established in 2000, growing steadily from a few generalist engineers assisting the company’s founders, to the diversified base of world-class designers, engineers, scientists and business professionals who make up the company today.
In addition to developing and commercializing Kinetic Hydropower System (KHPS) technology, Verdant Power also develops projects around the world and, under some circumstances, will serve as the owner-operator of projects.
The company expects to go public after commercial revenue begins to flow in 2008.
As of June, 2007, the company has 20 full-time personnel, with ten consulting engineers.
Cofounder: William "Trey" Taylor
featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer, May. 12, 2007
Verdant Power has been featured in a number of televised segments.
In the News
- Hydro Power Without the Dams: Ontario Invests in Free Flow Underwater Turbines - The province of Ontario is investing C$2.2 million into a project to demonstrate the feasibility and commercial viability of using free flow turbines to harness some of the St. Lawrence River's kinetic energy and turn it into electricity.(TreeHugger; April 14, 2008)
- In late Summer, 2007, National Geographic is going to be airing a segment on Verdant Power.
- On Sunday, June 10, 2007, Verdant Power will be featured on the Discovery Channel at 9:00 pm EST
- Building the Future - The Search for Ultimate Energy (Discovery Channel; June 10, 2007)
- War of the Tides (Bloomberg Markets; June 2007)
- Marine Energy: Tapping the Power of the Sea (The Economist; April 28, 2007)
- Tidal Turbines Help Light Up Manhattan ((MIT Technology Review; April 23, 2007)
- Catch a wave, throw a switch (USA Today, Money; cover story; April 19, 2007)
- Underwater Turbines Use the Tide to Produce Electricity in NYC (Associated Press; April 13, 2007)
- Underwater Wind Turbines Tap River Energy by Eric Sofge (Popular Mechanics; April 2007)
- Powering Up Under Water by Emily B. Hager (The New York Times Video; January 2, 2007)
- The Next Little Thing – An advance look at the big ideas coming from small businesses in 2007 - by Jeff Garigliano; (Fortune Small Business; December 2006 / January 2007)
- Verdant Enters Second Phase of Hydro-turbine Testing - Phase two of the underwater turbine in the East River in New York entails 16-foot rotor, designed to generate 35 kW of power. A yaw system allows the turbines to rotate on a vertical axis. (Renewable Energy Access; New York; April 19, 2005)
- Tidal flow to power New York City - Verdant Power planning to install turbines in the East River. $4.5-million project to build farm of tide-powered turbines. Starting at 6 turbines generating a total of 200kw; they plan to implement 200 - 300 turbines. (Nature; Aug. 13, 2004)
See Discussion page
Verdant Power (Corporate Headquarters)
888 Main Street
New York, NY 10044
Verdant Power Canada ULC
5230 South Service Road
Burlington, ON L7L 5K2
Verdant Power New York, LLC
c/o Cooper Union Research Foundation
51 Astor Place
New York, NY 10003-7185
Verdant Power (Northwest Satellite)
1200 Fifth Avenue, Suite 180
Seattle, WA 98101