Tuesday, December 28, 2010

‘Will 2011 Be the Year OTEC Makes it Big?’ Also, Hawaii's PUC Gives OK for 20-MW Solar Energy Plant

The headline’s question comes from a Renewable Energy World.com piece on ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) and the potential for OTEC to finally take off next year.

Yeah, we know – the same thing has been asked at the end of just about every year in the past decade, or more. But it’s still a good question to ask now.

As the Todd Griset piece notes, the U.S. Navy has been parsing out grants to Lockheed Martin Corp. to design and commercialize a 10-MW plant here off the coast of Oahu. Lockheed in turn is working with other firms, including Makai Ocean Engineering of Honolulu, to work out the design of the massive pipes an OTEC plant would use.

We’ll join Mr. Griset in predicting big things for OTEC next year, and with some predicting a rise in the price of oil to $150/barrel by next summer, OTEC is sure to attract more attention than ever as a way to meet our long-term energy requirements.

20 Megs for Mililani

The Hawaii Public Utilities Commission has given a green light to developer Castle & Cooke’s plans for as 20-MW solar plant in central Oahu.

That’s an unusual move, since it involves a waiver from the usual requirement that competitive bids be entertained for projects exceeding 5 megawatts. The PUC’s approval stipulates that the solar farm be developed by competing and totally independent corporate entities.

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