Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Still Waiting for Details re Hawaii’s Pilot OTEC Plant

It’s been a little more than 24 hours since we learned of the ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) pilot plant project planned for Hawaii, and the “when” and “where” details – not included in the press release -- have yet to be distributed in a followup release.

An important “who” also wasn’t spelled out, but we have to believe Hawaiian Electric Company or one of its subsidiaries will be involved. We’ve called the Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) to fill in those blanks and will update this post when the information is received.

6 p.m. UPDATE: A DBEDT representative called to say the multi-party agreement announced by the Governor last month has these details, including the mention of HECO as the utility and HECO's Kahe power plant on Oahu's leeward coast as the site. So we're beginning to see yesterday's OTEC pilot plant announcement in a new light -- as a continuation of the earlier agreement. The truly "new" news is the pairing of Lockheed Martin and the Taiwan Industrial Technology Research Institute to construct and demonstrate the plant.

Here's our suggestion to DBEDT and the Governor's office: Interested parties around the world are waiting for more news about who, when and where, and it would be preferable to put this information in one updated press release or statement, rather than require everyone to search them out in other documents. Just a thought....

We’ve gently urged our daily papers to jump on this story and give it the coverage it deserves, but so far the announcement has merited only relatively brief mention in the Advertiser and Star-Bulletin. We invite our visitors to keep returning to this blog for updates, as we’re following developments as much or more than anyone else.


prh said...

Kahe Point was proposed as the site for a 40-50 MW OTEC plant in the early 80's and has been extensively researched. There was some resistance from the residents regarding the possibility of toxic ammonia leaks and so will the new plant be open or closed cycle? It would be important to get the environmental community on board asap. Will there be acreage at the site for an aquaculture park utilizing the spent water as this could create hundreds of jobs and provide seafood for local consumption as well as export.

Doug Carlson said...

Good and informative points as usual from "prh." Mahalo.

OTEC Team TU Delft said...

This is very interesting.

We knew that Lockheed Martin was busy with developments in OTEC.

As part of our Masters at the University of Technology in Delft, we are working on a 100MW OTEC system.

We came across very challenging technological and business issues. Competing with other sustainable energy technologies asks for innovative solutions. For example, the cold water pipe with a length of 1000 m already costs around 10Million USD.

If you have ideas/advices on OTEC, which can make OTEC even more interesting and compatible with other energies, contact us on:

TU Delft

Doug Carlson said...

Tanks for your comment, OTEC Team TU Delft. We hope you'll be back with your observations and findings, and maybe you'll be hearing from others with OTEC intentions.

Charlotte said...

I would add to the comment of prh. It would be great to include other downstream cold usage of DOW including aquaculture and cold ag applications.