|A Verdant turbine being lowered into New York’s East River as part of the RITE project.|
The Canadian province of Ontario is investing C$2.2 million in the Cornwall Ontario River Energy (CORE) Project in the St. Lawrence River. The goal of the two-phase CORE Project is to develop 15MW of power as a demonstration of the feasibility and commercial viability of Verdant Power Canada’s river-powered Free Flow Turbine.
CORE is Verdant’s second major project; the company began installing turbines for the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project in New York City’s East River, along the eastern shore of Roosevelt Island, in 2006. At full capacity, the three-phase RITE project could generate up to 10 MW.
|The Verdant turbine. Click to enlarge.|
The Free Flow Turbine is a three-blade, horizontal-axis turbine that is installed on the riverbed and operates fully under water. The turbine blades rotate at a slow rate, driving a speed increaser which in turn drives a grid connected, three-phase induction generator. The gearbox and generator are encased in a waterproof streamlined nacelle mounted on a streamlined pylon.
River-deployed Free Flow Turbines are fixed and generate power on the single, continuous flow of the river throughout the day. Pylons on the tidal versions of Free Flow Turbines are assembled with internal yaw bearings, which allow the units to pivot with the changing tide and thus capture energy for the majority of the day.
Depending on the site, various types of devices can be used to anchor the turbines under water.
The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources estimates that there is 2,000 MW of untapped waterpower potential in Ontario. Verdant estimates that there is enough potential power in the water currents of Canada’s tides, rivers and manmade channels to generate 15,000 MW of electricity using its technology. A study prepared for the National Research Council of Canada—“An Evaluation of The Kinetic Energy of Canadian Rivers & Estuaries”—identified a potential of more than 110 million MWh per year of kinetic energy in Canada, according to Verdant.
Funding for the project comes from the Ontario Innovation Demonstration Fund, which supports bio-based, environmental and alternative energy technologies.