OTEC is Reality, Not Science Fiction

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It’s Official! Lockheed Martin Signs Contract for World’s Largest OTEC Plant

Imagine if the ocean, covering more than 70 percent of the Earth’s surface, could be a source of plentiful, clean energy. In 1870, Jules Verne introduced the concept of ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), using ocean temperature differences to create power, in the classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea.

This is no longer a figment of someone’s imagination but an innovative answer to our customer’s call for new ways to create clean, baseload energy.

Lockheed Martin and Beijing-based Reignwood Group signed a contract Oct. 30 to begin design of a 10-megawatt OTEC power plant, the largest OTEC project to date.

This 10-megawatt plant is considered a crucial step toward the full commercialization of OTEC. Under this initial contract, Lockheed Martin will provide project management, design and systems engineering. Critical advances in our technologies allow OTEC to serve as an economically viable energy source, available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, rain or shine.

“The ocean holds enormous potential for clean, baseload energy,” said Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “Capturing this energy through a system like OTEC means we have the opportunity to produce reliable and sustainable power, supporting global security, a strong economic future and climate protection for future generations.” 

In April, the two companies signed a memorandum of agreement for this project.

While in Beijing, Lockheed Martin also joined Reignwood Group in celebrating the ribbon cutting of Reignwood’s new Innovative Technology Center, located at their corporate Beijing headquarters. The Innovative Technology Center is designed after Lockheed Martin’s Energy Solutions Center in Arlington, Va., which showcases new ideas for alternative energy generation and energy infrastructure.

 “This OTEC agreement and the establishment of a joint Innovative Technology Center between Reignwood Group and Lockheed Martin represents an important milestone that brings our advanced technologies to bear on the important global issues of climate change and renewable energy,” said Dr. Ray O. Johnson, senior vice president and chief technology officer for Lockheed Martin.

OTEC uses the natural temperature differences found in the ocean of tropical regions to drive turbine generators that create electricity. The energy produced by an OTEC facility is clean, baseload, reliable, sustainable and well-suited to the ocean conditions found near 80 countries around the world, including in the Asia-Pacific.

October 30, 2013

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highlights
  • Lockheed Martin signed a contract to begin design of a 10-megawatt OTEC power plant.
  • Critical advances in our technologies allow OTEC to serve as an economically viable energy source.
  • OTEC uses the natural temperature differences found in the ocean of tropical regions to drive turbine generators that create electricity.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion

OTEC generates electricity by leveraging the temperature difference between warm surface water and deep cold water