Friday, February 20, 2009

Oahu’s Proposed OTEC Plant Scores a Little Ink

There’s been a news blackout in the past three months about the proposed ocean thermal energy conversion project involving Lockheed Martin and Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute.

That would seem to be the case, as our trusty Google search feature hasn’t turned up anything new since the relationship was announced in November during a trade mission by Hawaii Governor Linda Lingle. (We celebrated the news with a champagne toast.)

Not until today, that is. The Taiwan Journal carries a story on potential of OTEC and wave power contributions to partially satisfy the island’s energy requirements; it includes a brief mention of the proposed Oahu plant:

“Last November, ITRI signed an agreement with the U.S. state of Hawaii and Lockheed Martin Corp. to cooperate on developing a 10-megawatt OTEC pilot plant in Hawaii. However, the institute was unable to disclose any details regarding its participation in the project as it is bound by the agreement's confidentiality clause.”

Just as we suspected – the cursed confidentiality clause....

The article doesn’t offer much if any new information about OTEC as it repeats what we already know, including this insight: “Economic viability and technical feasibility are the two major challenges facing the development of ocean energy.”

Well, yes – and much the same was said earlier this month in a University of Hawaii lecture on OTEC. But we’re encouraged that scientists and engineers are working hard to overcome these challenges.

We just wish there was less “confidentiality” and more openness among the parties so we could learn what’s up with the proposed Oahu plant.

No comments: