Tapping into the Ocean’s Power
Lockheed Martin signs agreement for largest ever OTEC plant
The demand for clean, reliable energy continues to grow. Beijing-based Reignwood Group wants to meet that demand, and it plans to work with Lockheed Martin to do it.
Lockheed Martin recently entered into an agreement with Reignwood to develop and build a 10-megawatt Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) pilot power plant off the coast of southern China. The memorandum of agreement between the two companies was signed in Beijing on April 13.
Following a formal signing ceremony, both companies also had the opportunity to meet with United States Secretary of State John Kerry during his first official state visit to the People’s Republic of China (PRC). While in China, Sec. Kerry announced a new U.S.-China Climate Change Coalition, underscoring the importance of developing renewable energy technologies such as OTEC.
The offshore plant, to be designed by Lockheed Martin, will be the largest OTEC project developed to date, supplying 100 percent of the power needed for a green resort being developed by Reignwood. In addition, the agreement could lay the foundation for the development of several additional OTEC power plants, ranging in size from 10 to 100 megawatts, for a potential multibillion-dollar value.
Southern China is an ideal location for an OTEC plant, which uses the natural temperature differences found in the ocean of tropical regions to drive turbines that create electricity. The energy produced by an OTEC facility is clean, sustainable and well-suited to the ocean conditions found near 80 countries around the world, including in the Asia-Pacific.
“The benefits to generating power with OTEC are immense, and Lockheed Martin has been leading the way in advancing this technology for decades,” said Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin. “Constructing a sea-based, multi-megawatt pilot OTEC power plant for Reignwood Group is the final step in making it an economic option to meet growing needs for clean, reliable energy.”
Once the plant is operational, the two companies plan to use the knowledge gained to improve the design of the additional commercial-scale plants to be built over the next 10 years.
Posted April 16, 2013