Makai Connects World’s Largest Ocean Thermal Plant to U.S. Grid
– August, 2015
Makai Ocean Engineering celebrates the completion of the world’s largest operational Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) power plant with a dedication ceremony held on Friday, August 21, at 11:00 a.m. at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority (NELHA).
Makai’s OTEC power plant uses the temperature difference between the ocean’s cold deep water and warm surface water to generate clean, renewable electricity that is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The NELHA-sited plant will generate 100 kilowatts of sustainable, continuous electricity—enough to power 120 Hawaii homes annually.
The breakthrough marks the first true closed-cycle OTEC plant to be connected to a U.S. electrical grid, and represents a major achievement for Hawaii, the United States, and marine renewable energy.
Distinguished officials gathered at NELHA to commemorate the occasion by “flipping the switch” to deliver OTEC power for the first time.
Governor David Ige
“Today marks the launch of the world’s largest operational ocean thermal power plant,” said Hawaii Governor David Ige. “This plant provides a much-needed test bed to commercialize ocean thermal energy conversion technology and bolster innovation, and it serves as a stepping stone to larger plants that will provide meaningful amounts of stable, clean power to Hawaii and other locations in Asia Pacific such as Okinawa in the near future.”
The research and development at the plant was funded by the Office of Naval Research (ONR) through the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute (HNEI), and the infrastructure was funded by Naval Facilities Engineering Command (NAVFAC). Accrued electricity revenues from this power plant will sustain further research and development of OTEC technology. A potential next phase for OTEC development at NELHA is being considered by an international consortium under the recently signed Okinawa-Hawaii clean energy agreement.
Remarks Regarding the OTEC Grid-Connection Ceremony
Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard
“Hawaii’s abundant and diverse natural energy sources make our state an ideal location for innovation and growth in the renewable energy sector,” said Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard. “Kona hosts the world’s largest operational ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) plant, which represents the potential that exists for a secure and energy independent future for Hawaii. This project displays what can happen when you have a successful public-private partnership that will serve as a model for clean energy technology worldwide.”
Mayor Billy Kenoi
“I’d like to aloha Mayor Ota from Kumejima Island – Mayor Ota please stand – and his entire delegation, including the university in Okinawa, and our partnership that we have where OTEC is real,” said Mayor Kenoi, “Five years ago we signed this sister city relationship that is continually affirmed… If we harness the best and brightest that we have, if we remain committed to our children and their future, if we continue to work together in a spirit of aloha, kindness, dignity and respect, we’ll realize what Adam [Wong] said: that we’ll get from 100 kilowatts to 1 megawatt, to 10 megawatts offshore, and ultimately to 100 megawatts.”
Senator Mazie Hirono
“In the pursuit of 100 percent renewable energy, Hawaii must consider all our energy options, including ocean thermal energy,” said Senator Mazie Hirono. “Ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC, could provide a stable supply of power from an abundant and clean source: the ocean’s heat. I am proud to announce that Hawaii is now home to the world’s largest operational OTEC plant that recently began feeding ocean-based power into the electrical grid at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority in Kona. I applaud the work being done by the Office of Naval Research, Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, and Makai Ocean Engineering to develop this innovative technology for Hawaii’s energy future.”
Duke Hartman – Makai Ocean Engineering
“Makai is a world leader in the engineering of OTEC power plants, including the large marine pipelines, marine heat exchangers, and now the OTEC power cycle,” said Duke Hartman, Makai’s VP of Business Development. “We are thrilled to flip the switch on this important OTEC demonstration plant, which will deliver OTEC power to the grid and serve as a test bed to reduce the cost and improve the performance of OTEC technologies. Based on the lessons learned at this facility, we are working hand-in-hand with several of the world’s leading OTEC developers to design the next generation of commercial OTEC plants.”
“Lockheed Martin and Makai have worked closely on OTEC projects for nearly 40 years, and this power plant in Hawaii is a significant milestone in our progress. These facilities are an asset to OTEC development and provide key performance testing for Lockheed Martin’s large-scale heat exchangers,” said Steve Klotz, engineering director at Lockheed Martin Energy. “As we develop larger scale OTEC plants, this facility will continue to serve as a valuable resource for validating and advancing our technology – and we look forward to our continued collaboration with Makai.”
About Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.
Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc. is an innovative ocean engineering and design firm based in Hawaii, USA since 1973. Makai’s expertise includes submarine cable software and services, marine pipelines, Seawater Air Conditioning (SWAC), Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC), autonomous underwater vehicles, marine corrosion, and general marine engineering and R&D. Makai is ISO9001:2008 certified, and applies strict quality control
methods to all of our engineering projects. Please visit makai.com for more information.
Duke J. Hartman, P.E.
Vice President, Business Development
+1 (808) 259-8871
Makai Ocean Engineering
Makai Research Pier
41-305 Kalanianaole Hwy
Waimanalo, Hawaii 96795 USA
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