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Verdant Power LLC

Project Description

In accordance with 6 NYCRR Part 621, the Department has determined the application for a Section 401 Water Quality Certificate (WQC) submitted by Verdant Power, LLC (Verdant) to install, operate, monitor, and maintain a three-phase deployment of a field of up to 30 tidal kinetic hydropower system (KHPS) units and associated project components known as the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Pilot Project is complete. The application was submitted to the Department in association with Verdant's application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission's (FERC) to obtain a Hydrokinetic Pilot License. The federal Clean Water Act requires that the State must first determine whether the action meets State water quality standards prior to the issuance of a federal license or permit.

This project has a total capacity of approximately 1 megawatt, and is located in the East Channel of the East River in New York City. This project builds on the 6-turbine RITE Demonstration Project deployed in 2006 (NYSDEC Permit No. 2-6204-01510/00001), and will use the natural tidal currents of the East River to generate electricity via underwater turbine generator units mounted on the riverbed. Three turbine units are proposed for Phase 1, nine units for Phase 2, and 18 units for Phase 3, with the phases designated as Install B-1, B-2 and C respectively. Install A consists of a two-week turbine test followed by the temporary installation of 2 turbines on two of the existing pilings used for the RITE demonstration project. Authorization for Install A has been requested under the current NYSDEC Permit No. 2-6204-01510/00001, and is not the subject of this notice.

The proposed turbines resemble windmills, and rotate at approximately 37 revolutions per minute (rpm) when the water velocity exceeds 1.0 meter per second (m/s). The turbines are five meters (16.4 feet) in diameter and will be located in approximately 30 feet of water referenced to mean low low water (MLLW) with approximately 6 feet of water under the turbine rotor at all times and approximately 5-7 feet of water above the turbine rotor at MLLW. The riverbed mounting system is an open tubular steel triframe that can support three turbines and eliminates the need for drilling into the river bed floor. The estimated footprint of a single triframe that touches the substrate is approximately 27 square feet (ft2) or less, and the total area encompassed by each triframe is 832 ft2. The project boundary will encompass an area of 19.91 acres which includes 18.84 acres of underwater land lease and 1.02 acres of shoreline right-of-way for the Control Room, Cable Vaults and two underground transmission lines.

A comprehensive environmental review was conducted pursuant to the FERC license application process (FERC Project No. 12611-005) and on May 3, 2011 FERC provided a notice of the availability of the Environmental Assessment for public comment. Application of State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) to this project is pre-empted by the Federal Power Act.

WQC Application Materials

Filed application materials for the WQC are available for inspection at the NYSDEC Region 1 Office, can be viewed on the FERC website as described below. The WQC application has been posted on the FERC site since January 31, 2011.

FERC Proceeding- FERC Project No. 12611

Prior notice of project milestones in the FERC Pilot License proceeding has been provided by FERC commencing on 12/01/2008. The notices and other project information can be viewed on FERC's web site at www.ferc.gov using the "eLibrary" link on the right side of the page. Once the "eLibrary" page opens, use the "General Search" option, and enter the docket number 12611 to access the documents.


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