U.S. Department of Commerce Secretary Gary Locke, and U.S. Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, were on hand to witness the signing. The MOU marked a stop on Secretary Locke’s three-day clean energy trade mission in China. Secretary Locke traveled with several U.S. businesses to focus on opportunities for U.S. renewable energy technology developers in China’s growing energy market.
"Marine kinetic hydropower is an energy resource that is greatly underused — but which must play a greater role in the future if ‘sustainable hydropower’ is to be achieved," stated Ronald Smith, CEO of Verdant Power. "This historic signing is a significant first step for both countries in the collaborative development of this type of renewable energy."
The MOU establishes tidal and river power devices as a new stream of U.S. exports to international markets. It will also spur economic development and job growth in the U.S. and build momentum for a domestic tidal energy market.
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."
Verdant Power is currently developing sustainable tidal power projects in the U.S. and Canada. 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.
The RITE Project is the first of its kind tidal energy project in the world and is being deployed as an urban distributed generation clean energy solution. Unlike other renewable energy resources, underwater tidal turbines are a predictable source of power with 24/7 availability. The CECEP-Verdant Power MOU will provide a framework for the effective collaboration of siting and operating the aforementioned tidal and river power systems on an international scale.
China Energy Conservation Environment Protection Group, referred to as CECEP (formerly CECIC), was established in 1988 in response to the second oil crisis. Since its establishment, CECEP has been working to promote energy saving and environmental protection technology and projects. It is responsible for the investment of RMB 23 billion yuan in national energy conservation capital construction projects, brings more than RMB 30 billion yuan local investment, and has accomplished more than 3,000 major projects. CECEP, the only national-level state owned enterprise, specializes and focuses in energy conservation and environmental protection in China.
Verdant Power headquartered in New York City, designs and develops innovative solutions for harvesting the energy-generating capacity of flowing water resources. The company focuses on utility-scale projects using its proprietary, clean, and affordable technologies that produce power and electricity without harming the environment or requiring extensive and costly infrastructure such as dams.