I had a very informative and enjoyable lunch today with corporate officials of Ocean Thermal Energy Corporation, parent company of Hawaii's OCEES International-- Jeremy Feakins (center), Chairman of the Board, and Ted Johnson, Vice President for OTEC Development:
Ted, of course, led the Lockheed Martin OTEC effort until recently. You will note that this is approximately the same view of my photo at the top of this blog.
What can I say about their action plan for commercialization? Well, nothing, actually. They will soon make an official announcement.
We agreed, though, that, at long last, the time to develop OTEC has finally come. (The photo to the right is the recently dedicated OTEC experimental module at the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority.) When you consider the shock of Fukushima and the desperation of Japan to quickly transfer to renewables, the sudden interest of our military for clean baseload electricity and biojet fuel, and the attitude of investors, which has remarkably shifted from quick profits to longer term and sustainable initiatives, there is very little doubt that multi-product OTEC commercial facilities will be financed, initially where the economics are favorable and government/utility cooperation enthusiastic. This opportunity will further be stimulated by Peak Oil and the looming reality of $150/barrel oil, global heating and the inevitability of catastrophic damages from bigger and bigger hurricanes.
Is OTEC (the company) the answer to OTEC (the technology)? We shall see, but Chairman Feakins suggested the above title.