The East River of New York is an estuarial river with tremendously strong tides. Verdent Power of Arlington, VA is experimenting with large turbines place off shore in the East River which takes advantage of thses tides. These turbines swivel on their base and have set a record of 2,400 hours of continuous generation for free-flowing turbines. Many environmental factors are still being addressed here including the safety of the marine life in the East River. My store, Gristedes of Roosevelt Island, was donated to Verdant as the recipient of this power. Ultimately, the goal is to expand the operation to power 8,000 homes in New York City.
United Refining is a 70,000 barrel per day petroleum refining plant located in Warren, PA. In a normal operation, roughly 13% of a barrel of oil is wasted in the refining process. We have begun construction of a 'coker.' A coker refines the last waste, slag material of crude oil into low grade yet usable product. The coker operates at very high temperatures and our intention is to build a cogeneration plant to capture this power and convert it to electrical energy.
The effort to generate cheap electricity has been going on since Thomas Edison built his first generation plant on Fulton Street in lower Manhattan. When I was first approached about the project in the East River I jumped at the chance to offer my store as the experimental recipient. Althought the flow is spotty, and the project has been put on hold until November of 2007, I am more convinced now that ever of the project's potential. I have seen the turbines pulled out of the East River with their cast aluminum blades sheard off at the hub. This natural,extraordinary power of the East River tides can be harnessed. We just have to figure out how.
My refinery cogeneration plant is proven technology. We refine all North American crude oil. It occurred to me as we were planning to build a coker at the plant, why not make the refinery entirely self-sufficient. The physics of a cogeneration plant seemed the logical conclusion.
Ultimately the East River project hopes to provide the electrical power for 8,000 homes. The cogeneration plant will provide all the electrical needs of my refinery with all excess sold to the grid.