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Project Dates
05/01/2010 - 12/31/2013
Principal Investigators
Project Status

The recent advances in tidal energy technology, demonstration projects and tidal site permitting have focused interest on understanding the statewide potential for tidal energy system to help meet New Jersey State goals to achieve 20% renewable energy generation by 2020. Contributing to the overall mix of alternative energy sources during the next ten years will result in increased job generation and overall economic stimulus as well as a reduction of atmospheric concentrations of GHGs and CO2 known to impact climate change. These goals are consistent with the New Jersey Energy Master Plan (NJEMP) and the Global Warming Response Act (GWRA). Tidal Energy is recognized as a Class 1 Renewable Energy system. The first tidal energy site in New Jersey received its Waterfront Development Permit from the NJ Dept of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) on January 14, 2010. How will maximum development of this emerging technology impact the State?

For tidal energy to fully develop its potential for optimal economic, energy and positive environmental impact, critical questions must be answered. A better understanding of how potential sites may be developed is necessary at this time. For example, what tidal currents are available to drive present technologies? Where do these currents occur? What is the overall tidal power potential? How will these developments impact crucial stakeholders and shoreline infrastructure? The proposed investigation seeks to answer such questions and more.

Our effort seeks to utilize several computer models and computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis to help identify promising locations, and to determine the total potential of tidal energy generation that may be realized. The project will proceed using a system of field measurements to (1) verify the NJ tidal flow models to assess water speeds available at potential sites, (2) assess and improve the accuracy of these models and (3) to estimate both the site specific and overall power potential of tidal energy for New Jersey. The project will further (4)identify sites most likely to be developed in the near term future in light of the capability of emerging technologies, (5) analyze opportunities for deployment with respect to shoreline infrastructure, (6) define potential exclusion of environmentally sensitive zones, and (7) provide a roadmap for potential pathways and strategic partners to achieve an optimal future. In addition, (8) known technologies that can be utilized in New Jersey will be identified and described. Results will be (9) organized in a series of reports that enable training, participation and feedback from leadership in appropriate New Jersey State agencies and advisors to enable common grounds of understanding as the basis for wise decision-making. By effectively marshalling its administrative, academic and research capabilities, New Jersey can benefit by providing leadership and direction to this nascent industry.