Clean Power

Published on July 30th, 2009 | by Bryan Nelson

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Eco-Docks Designed to Float in NYC's Nasty Rivers

July 30th, 2009 by  

Eco-docks

A professor and student team have designed a network of modular floating docks to harness clean energy for New York City.

The eco-docks would generate the energy by harnessing tidal power from the city’s rivers; they should also help to add much needed green space above the dirty waters.

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The docking stations would plug into the piers already along New York’s riverside, though they would eventually be extended to help maximize energy generation. The expansion would also make room for more public green space and tidal pools for wildlife. Once completed, the docks’ designers hope that they will serve as an educational tool to encourage energy awareness, as well as remind the public of the connection between the water’s edge and the city’s interior.

In fact, the designers believe that the energy generated from the docks would be enough to light the streets of New York. Three vertical turbines would be fastened underneath each dock, which should generate up to 24 kilowatts of constant energy created by the bi-directional four mph current, supporting 350 LED streetlamps. And that’s just the energy generated for each dock module. Of course, the designers hope there would be plenty of room for more than just one.

The docks would also serve the functional purpose of expanding the public’s access to the rivers and create more recreational opportunities. And let’s face it, they’d also add some much needed aesthetic to a river system that’s awfully murky.

Source: ScienceDaily

Image Credit: Sarah Parsons, via ScienceDaily


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About the Author

has been making up for lost time since finishing his graduate degree in Philosophy by traveling and working to change the world. He has worked with groups like The Sierra Club, Environment America & U.S. PIRG, Environment Oregon & OSPIRG, and Progressive Future on local and national political campaigns. His environmental journalism can be found throughout the web, which also includes regular contributions to MNN.com. Between adventure and activism, he currently can be found doing freelance writing from his home in Hawaii.



  • The additional over-water shading imposed by this solution is not permittable by the NYDEC nor the USACE, partially due to the reduced productivity of the benthic environment and submerged aquatic vegetation in shallow areas. The only location this would be permitted is existing or new floating docks, no wider than those allowed for boat docking purposes, and also specifically being installed for boat docking.

    I support the creative thinking demonstrated by this idea, but it needs serious revision, definitely to something less glamorous and smaller than the artist’s rendering.

  • The additional over-water shading imposed by this solution is not permittable by the NYDEC nor the USACE, partially due to the reduced productivity of the benthic environment and submerged aquatic vegetation in shallow areas. The only location this would be permitted is existing or new floating docks, no wider than those allowed for boat docking purposes, and also specifically being installed for boat docking.

    I support the creative thinking demonstrated by this idea, but it needs serious revision, definitely to something less glamorous and smaller than the artist’s rendering.

  • krissy

    New York City’s coastline is man made land fill. Now theyre getting more artificiality? I don’t know if a dock can replicate what a wetland can do but hopefully they do something to give them some natural intertidal buffer at least. It kills me because NYC had gorgeous wetlands and we should be bringing them back.

  • krissy

    New York City’s coastline is man made land fill. Now theyre getting more artificiality? I don’t know if a dock can replicate what a wetland can do but hopefully they do something to give them some natural intertidal buffer at least. It kills me because NYC had gorgeous wetlands and we should be bringing them back.

  • Pingback: Eco-Docks Designed to Float in NYC’s Nasty Rivers | AvailableGreenEnergy.com()

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