Hydrokinetic projects take root in USOctober 4, 2012
Country’s first hydrokinetic projects granted federal approval
U.S. federal regulators have approved the first hydrokinetic projects that will take root in the country. Hydrokinetic energy is that derived through the harnessing of waves, tides, and river currents. In the U.S., the technology for these energy systems is still in its infancy and has only been tested in rare circumstances. Regulators believe that the time is right to put hydrokinetic technology to use, however, especially as the country grows more concerned over matters of energy security and sustainability.
Verdant Power given green light for ambitious energy project in New York City
Regulators have approved licenses for two companies to launch their hydrokinetic projects. The first is Verdant Power, which received initial approval for its Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project in early January this year. The project aims to install 30 bladed hydrokinetic turbines at the bottom of New York City’s East River. When activated, this energy system is expected to generate 1 megawatt of electricity, which is enough to power nearly 800 average homes. The company has successfully tested the turbines and has determined that they will function as intended.
Ocean Power Technologies to harness the energy of waves off Oregon coast
The second company to receive approval for its hydrokinetic project is Ocean Power Technologies. The company received approval for its Reedsport Wave Park power station in August. The project takes place off the coast of Oregon and is comprised of 10 large buoys that are meant to harness the potential energy of waves. Altogether, these buoys are expected to generate 1.5 megawatts of electricity from this kinetic energy. The first buoy is nearly finished being built and is expected to be deployed later this year.
Federal approval could herald more interest in hydrokinetic power
While both companies have received approval for their projects earlier in the year, federal regulators have only recently granted them with the licenses necessary for these projects to begin operation. Both projects are small, but hold promise for the country in terms of hydrokinetic energy exposure. Other countries have a significant head start in this realm over the U.S. as hydrokinetic energy has been receiving focus for several years.