Verdant Power, a private held company headquartered in New York, has been testing a prototype underwater turbine called the Gen5KHPS that can generate up to 1.0 megawatt. It is a perfect location. Any New Yorker can testify to the turbulent waters swirling around the East River. The water current changes direction four times each day and when water velocity exceeds 3.3 feet per second, Verdant’s turbine begins to rotate. The turbine apparatus has been designed to turn around each time the current flow changes direction so it captures energy from the water movement ‘tide in’ and ‘tide out’.
The company was not among the recipients of $16.9 million in grants awarded by the Department of Energy in 2013, and described in the post “Holding Back the Tide” on February 19th. However, Verdant Power has not been left out. In December 2015, Verdant was among six tidal power developers awarded a total of $10.5 million by the DOE. Verdant is to design and test a frame that can support three of the company’s Gen5KHPS turbines together. The multi-turbine frame is expected to bring efficiency and scale to a tidal power project.