A company called Verdant Power has just received permission to install up to 30 turbines in the eastern channel of the East River in New York to harvest the power of the natural currents and feed electricity into the grid for use mainly in New York City. The plan has been underway for 10 years, and stage three—the scaling-up to commercial scale—has just been approved.
Similar schemes have been in use in Europe for years. San Francisco’s outgoing mayor, Gavin Newsom, has proposed a similar experiment to use the power of the tides sweeping back and forth through the Golden Gate for electricity generation. Worries have been expressed about the effect on fish and other marine life, and one must be careful; no free lunch and all that. We’ll keep an eye out, but so far we haven’t heard any objection to the Verdant project, which goes by the name of RITE, for Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy.