Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Issues First Tidal Power Project License

Verdant Power's Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project Liscensed for 10 Years

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) yesterday approved the first-ever commercial license for a U.S. tidal energy project, which will use New York City's East River tidal currents to generate electricity. The project, owned by Verdant Power and licensed for ten years, will install as many as 30 turbines on more than 21 acres along the strait that connects the Long Island Sound with the Atlantic Ocean in the New York Harbor.

"The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy project is a prime example of an innovative MHK technology that will advance progress towards commercialization of the entire industry," said Sean O'Neill, OREC's President. "MHK renewable energy continues to be a critical aspect in allowing us to improve our country's energy security and independence, create jobs and lower our carbon footprint."

Headquartered in New York, Verdant Power has been developing hydropower technology since 2000. Verdant Power's Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) project was initiated in 2002 and approved by the state of New York last month. Under the new license for the RITE project, Verdant Power will install turbines in three phases, operate the system remotely, and will employ a team of technicians to maintain the equipment and monitor the surrounding environment. In May 2011 FERC issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) finding no significant impact for Verdant Power's ten-year pilot application license for the RITE project.

The new licensing process, instituted by FERC in 2008, allows developers to test new hydropower technologies while maintaining FERC oversight and agency input, and has seen a recent rise in hydrokinetic project interest. As of January 9, 2012, 100 hydrokinetic projects have been issued preliminary permits to study the feasibility of developing a specific project and another 78 projects are in pre-filing for their license.

"OREC looks forward to the approval of additional pending licenses for MHK projects in the near future as the benefits of utilizing clean and renewable power from our vast marine resources are fully realized." O'Neill concluded.

About the Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition

The Ocean Renewable Energy Coalition (OREC) is the only national trade association exclusively dedicated to promoting marine and hydrokinetic renewable energy technologies from clean, renewable ocean resources. Founded in April of 2005, the Coalition has grown to over 60 members including technology developers, consultants, law firms, investor-owned utilities, publicly owned utilities, universities, and scientific and engineering firms. The coalition is working with industry leaders, academic scholars, and other interested NGO's to encourage ocean renewable technologies and raise awareness of their vast potential to help secure an affordable, reliable, environmentally friendly energy future.

OREC seeks a legislative and regulatory regime in the U.S. that fosters the growth of ocean renewable technologies, their commercial development, and support in the race to capture the rich energy potential of our oceans. While other countries have already deployed viable, operating, power generating projects using the emission-free power of ocean waves, currents, and tidal forces, the U.S. is only beginning to acknowledge the importance of these technologies.

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