Saturday, April 19, 2008

Verdant Power - virtual tour of the RITE project


It's not every day that the Pope has any impact on the marine renewables industry. But he did yesterday, as the security arrangements for his talk to the United Nations in New York made it logistically difficult for the delegates at the Global Marine Renewable Energy Conference to get from the conference hotel (Broadway and 44th St) to Roosevelt Island (aerial tram from 59th Street and 2nd Avenue).

So Verdant brought a virtual tour of the facility to the hotel, and very impressive it was too.

For me, the key points were
  • Verdant has generated nearly 50 MWh over 7,000 turbine-hours

  • The technology is on version 5 - this isn't an easy or quick process

  • The units are currently rated at 35 kW, and achieve a capacity factor in a tidal setting of c. 30%, but maybe 70%in run-of-river

  • Verdant was extremely coy about costings

  • Verdant has spent "as much" on environmental studies (lots of money on fish monitoring) as on the technology


I'm very impressed with the step-wise Verdant approach (reminiscent of the Pelamis staged development approach) and by the progress achieved.

4 comments:

Carolyn Elefant said...

I agree with you completely. Too many companies are hoping to become the next Microsoft or Google of the marine renewables industry and are eschewing disciplined staged development in favor of grabbing up sites.

Anonymous said...

Verdant Power's technology has clearly proven they can destroy turbine blades underwater - wow some technology. Real impressive, I am sure Tudor Investment is impressed also to the tune 15 million dollars USD.

With respect to Carolyn Elefant
comments, Verdant Power technology is weak. None of the 3 principals of Verdant Power have any experience whatsoever, they just talk a good game. They are good marketeers, that is it. Maybe the Pope can bless Verdant's turbine blades. Lol

John Aldersey-Williams said...

I think Anonymous 3.30am is being a little hard on Verdant. Any company which is actually getting equipment in the water is making good progress, and blade breakage is all part of the learning process.

That said, I don't think the Pope was able to drop by Roosevelt Island, so divine intervention can't be relied on!

Anonymous said...

The whole field of underwater construction is difficult and fraught with problems that one will, through no fault of their own, learn the hard way. I disagree with Anonymous and give the VErdant folks credit for persevering. I will admit that attempting anything approaching leadership in a fledgling industry requires a good bit of salesmanship AND engineering. In my view, Verdant has done well on both counts.