Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/thereseyarde/greenantilles.com/admin/wp-content/themes/Editorial/functions/admin-hooks.php on line 160

Ocean thermal energy conversionAccording to Renewable Energy Magazine, the Bahamas Electricity Corporation has signed an agreement relating to construction and operation of two ocean thermal energy conversion plants:

Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation (OTE Corporation) from Lancaster, Pennsylvania (US) has won a contract to design its first two commercial plants that generate electricity from temperature differences in ocean water.

According to a report in a Lancaster newspaper, OTE Corporation has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Bahamas Electricity Corp., which provides electricity to 85 percent of the country’s electricity consumers, to design and construct two of OTE Corporation’s unique plants. The plants would be owned and operated by OTE Corporation and would cost about $100 million to develop. They would have a nameplate capacity of between five and 10 megawatts.

The agreement represents a milestone in this novel technology, which comprises “a base-load renewable energy production process particularly suited for tropical zones”. The technology, which OTE Corporation describes as “proven”, having demonstrated the technical viability of a 210 kW pilot plant at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii, uses the ocean’s temperature differential between the warm surface water and the cold deep water to generate both electricity and potable water.

Most of the power produced at the new facilities on the Bahamas would be used by the local utility to meet 9 percent of its needs, although some would be siphoned off by a desalination plant to provide water and drinking and aquaculture. The potable water would be sold to the Bahamas’ water company.

Read more about the MOU from Renewable Energy Magazine and the OTE Corp. wesbite.

What is ocean thermal energy conversion? According to the U.S. Department of Energy:

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) uses the heat energy stored in the Earth’s oceans to generate electricity.

OTEC works best when the temperature difference between the warmer, top layer of the ocean and the colder, deep ocean water is about 20°C (36°F). These conditions exist in tropical coastal areas, roughly between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer. To bring the cold water to the surface, OTEC plants require an expensive, large diameter intake pipe, which is submerged a mile or more into the ocean’s depths.

Some energy experts believe that if it could become cost-competitive with conventional power technologies, OTEC could produce billions of watts of electrical power.

For more information on the process see this page from the U.S. Department of Energy and this one from the U.S. National Renewable Energy Laboratory.

Previously on Green Antilles: Wave energy for The Bahamas.

[Image via: renewableenergymagazine.com]



  1. Scottish expertise could benefit the renewables industry – Rapid | Keep Going Green - September 30, 2011

    […] the bad Of Investing In Oil And GasTrain4TradeSkills News: Renewable Energy use hits all-time highOcean thermal energy conversion: new renewable energy technology for The Bahamasfunction getTubePressBaseUrl(){return "http://keepgoinggreen.com/wp-content/plugins/tubepress";} […]

  2. Renewable Energy Technology | Wind And Solar - October 7, 2011

    […] agreement represents a milestone in this novel technology, which comprises a base-load Renewable energy production process particularly suited for tropical zones. The technology, which OTE […]

Leave a Reply

Like Green Antilles on Facebook

Posting here at the Green Antilles blog is on hiatus right now, but you can still get green news from, for and about the Caribbean at the Green Antilles Facebook page.

Can the Caribbean survive climate induced impacts?

The UN Climate Change Conference 2012 is being held in Quatar this week. Caribbean 360 reports on concerns of survivability […]

Green Antilles interview: Salome Buglass, Masters student at UBC, asks Have Tobago’s corals survived mass bleaching?

It is my joy to present the second Green Antilles interview. Salome Buglass is a Master’s student at the University […]

World Ocean Assessment workshop for the Caribbean

On November 13-15, a World Ocean Assessment Workshop was held for the Wider Caribbean in Miami, Florida. The Workshop for […]

Economic impact assessment of recreational fishing in the Caribbean

Recreational fisheries are prevalent in most Caribbean islands, though to date, the socio-economic characteristics of this sector are poorly studied. […]

Weekend photos: peacock flounders

Peacock flounder, © Michael Buchanan

The peacock flounder changes its color and the pattern on its skin to exactly match the sea floor. One of […]