"An eventual field of underwater turbines in NY's East River" sounds like a dream, but it turns out it may be a reality in a near future. Verdant Power, with the New York State Energy Research & Development Authority is working on the Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy Project that would bring up to 10 Megawatts of energy from an East River turbine field. While the first turbines are supposedly being deploye this year, Verdant has been talking about this since 2004. From the Columbia News Service:
Verdant Power plans to install hundreds of what look like underwater windmills in the East River -- the misleading name for the tidal channel that separates Manhattan and Long Island.
Through one narrow section that 17th century Dutch sailors called the Hell Gate, water siphoning between Long Island Sound and New York Harbor reaches speeds of 6 miles per hour, one of the fastest tidal currents on the East Coast. The company says a mile-long series of submerged 15-foot diameter turbines can capture and convert that energy efficiently enough to produce up to 10 megawatts of electricity.
Although New York City consumes 1,000 times that on a hot summer day, project supporters say that every locally produced megawatt helps limit the strain on the region's overburdened power lines.
And Verdant is looking for other sites in the city. The only question we have is whether this will affect "marine resources" in the area - though ones in the East River probably aren't as varied as ones in Martha's Vineyard, where there have been some questions about Verdant Power's plan. [Via Dave - thanks!]
And last week, NYU also announced it was purchasing enough wind power to make it the 11th largest purchaser of wind power in the country.