A small scale scheme in New York could be the precursor of widespread tidal power schemes.
The appeal of next-generation hydropower is hard to miss. “It’s local, reliable, renewable, and clean. Plus, it’s out of sight,” says Trey Taylor, president of Verdant Power LLC, the Arlington (Va.) startup developing the East River site. Adds Roger Bedard, ocean energy leader at the Electric Power Research Institute (EPRI), the industry’s research-and- development arm: “Offshore wave and tidal power are where wind was 20 years ago, but they’ll come of age faster.” By 2010, Bedard predicts, the U.S. will tap about 120 megawatts of offshore wave energy — enough to power a small city — up from virtually zero today.