Verdant Power, a U.S. tidal power developer, signed a memorandum of understanding with the China Energy Conservation Environment Protection Group (CECEP) to develop tidal energy project in China. The agreement is the first to involve U.S. marine and hydrokinetic power projects in China, according to an announcement by the company.
The agreement came during the recent U.S. Clean Energy Mission to China headed by Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, who was on hand at the signing.
The U.S. Department of Energy estimates that the undeveloped hydropower potential of the U.S. is more than 250,000 megawatts. China’s Ministry of Water Resources and Electric Power estimates that the undeveloped hydropower potential of China is nearly double that of the U.S. at more than 475,000 megawatts.
“Compared to fossil fuel plants, hydropower is clean and the ‘fuel’ is free,” said Trey Taylor, President of Verdant Power. “When people hear hydropower, they immediately think of large dams and other impoundments. Sustainable hydropower or marine hydrokinetics (MHK) is based on technologies now entering both the U.S. and Chinese markets that do not require dams.”
Environmental Leader previously reported on Verdant’s plan to build out its first installation in New York City’s East River. The Roosevelt Island Tidal Energy (RITE) Project will be the first grid-connected project that will provide New York City and the metropolitan area with up to 500 megawatts of pollution-free electricity from a field of underwater MHK turbines.