Water Resources Engineering (WRE) connects engineering hydrology and hydraulics with societal, environmental, and other issues. Our student Mr. Belveg makes this connection here…Hi, I am Mike Belveg and I’m reporting on an article called “New York will be Generating Tidal Power by Next Year.” This new pilot tidal power plant will be installed in New York’s East River. This article was written in the Renewable Energy magazine dated for January 24th, 2012. The project is owned by Verdant Power and will be able to produce 1050 kilowatts of power a day to NYC homes and businesses. There are currently about a half dozen turbines installed with the hopes to have 30 installed and operating by 2015.

East River site of Verdant Power project (photo courtesy Verdant Power)

This factually represents water resource engineering by commenting on the challenge of the installation of these turbines on the riverbed in a specific formation where they will capture the most energy from the tidal flow. These turbines are very similar to wind turbines the fact they are 3-bladed, horizontal axis turbines. The system is installed fully underwater and will begin to work automatically. It is completely invisible from the shore. These turbines were designed in a way where they will not affect the natural flow of the water and millions were spent on testing to insure marine life would not be affected.

Turbine Illustration along East River Bed (courtesy Verdant Power)

This project relates to the broader context area of our countries renewable energy goals. This is a major step in innovated technology for our country that has already proven successful in other countries like Canada and France. There is a cause and effect relationship here because if this works and they are granted a long term license, they will be able to expand to 100 turbines. Producing more power and helping the U.S reach its goals. Also if this works we will probably see more and more of these tidal power plants popping up in other places in the US.  In conclusion this is an import news story because it shows that the U.S is working hard to move to renewable energy sources where ever they can find them.

Reference

New York will be Generating Tidal Power by Next Year (2012, January 24).  In Renewable Energy Magazine. Retrieved February 4, 2012

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