- With just over 4000 square miles, the island is more than twice the area of all the other Hawaiian Islands put together and larger than Rhode Island and Delaware combined.
- The population stands at 185,000: Hilo 47,000, Kona 34,000.
- At only 800,000, it is the youngest island, and still growing, as Kilauea Volcano has added 500 acres (says 30 years, but now past 32 years long):
- Kilauea itself is only 2500 years old.
- Said to be the most active volcano in the world.
- The current eruption began on 3 January 1983...and I was there when it happened. Read about how and why.
- Mauna Kea at 33,476 feet, is the tallest mountain from the base (bottom of sea).
- Has the southernmost point in the USA, South Point.
- Kamehameha the Great was born and died on this island.
I then met with Mayor Haruo Ota of Kumejima Town. Here he is to the left, with Big Island Mayor Billy Kenoi to the right:
Jan War of the Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii Authority and I exchanged old OTEC war stories, for he has been doing this since around 1977, 2 years before me:
Guy Toyama. The Guy Toyama Memorial Fund has been created to provide scholarships for sustainability, entrepreneurship and Hawaii/Japan relations. Guy and I first conceived of Blue Revolution Hawaii five years ago. He was, indeed, a visionary.
Four students from Kumejima made a presentation in English. They reported that the population of their island has dropped from 14,000 in 1965 to 8,000 today. But everyone remains happy! OTEC could well be their salvation.
Julie Yunker, the BI Energy Program Strategy Officer, and Takatoshi Tomoyose, Okinawa Prefecture Government, provided an update of the Hawaii-Okinawa Agreement and the Okinawa Energy Vision Action Plan. Okinawa and Hawaii are both island states with the same population (1.4 million). Like Hawaii, Okinawa is almost totally dependent on oil and other fossil fuels. Clearly, renewable energy must be our combined goal. Historically, sugar, with a shift towards tourism, with both sites having around 7 million visitors/year. The weather is similar and we are both bothered by hurricanes. The difference is that they are regularly attacked by Category 4/5 storms, while not one hurricane has made landfall in Hawaii, except for Kauai. Miyakojima is Japan's Smart Energy Island. Hard to believe that it was 23 years ago when I helped form Green Enertopia, selecting Miyakojima as Japan's future sustainable resource site. [NOTE BELOW THAT MIYAKOJIMA AND KUMEJIMA ARE CLOSE TO THE INCOMING PATH OF SUPERTYPHOON GONI!!!]
- The OTEC and Hydrogen Project as an Island Model.
- A floating project.
- 1 and 10 MW demonstrations.
- 3.2% of energy in Japan is provided by renewables.
- I might not be interpreting this correctly, but more than 18,000 MW of renewable electricity capacity have been added since the Fukushima debacle, almost all solar PV. That is the equivalent of 18 nuclear power plants
- Wind energy conversion systems of up to 7MW are now available, and sizes to 10MW are being developed.
- Two ocean energy (all types of technologies) efforts
- System demonstration to achieve 40 yen/kW
- System demonstration to achieve 20 yen/kW
- I had to step out to take a call, but he never once mentioned OTEC, as such, in my presence.
- Essentially ran continuously and autonomously throughout the year.
- Performance matched or exceeded expectations.
- Lightning and typhoons caused some peripheral equipment failure.
- Now better know maintenance costs.
- Confirmed Okinawa as a candidate site for land and sea based OTEC.
- Better know now the potential value of the deep ocean water.
- Okinawa selected as the official national OTEC demonstration field, putting Japan ahead of America in recognizing the reality of OTEC. Japan Marine United Company and Saga University will lead the work.
The luncheon speaker was Mike Kaleikini of Puna Geothermal Ventures on their operation in Puna. The 38 MW production system features zero emissions. They are negotiating with Hawaii Electric Light Company for a 25 MW expansion, but one problem is that the City Council recently imposed a no night drilling requirement, which needs to be reversed.
In the afternoon session, Laurence Sombardier and Keith Olsen gave an overview of NELHA's SCADA (Supervisory Contrl and Data Acquisition) System, which distributes 30 gallons of seawater/day. The system must also maintain environmental quality. A pitch was made to build that long awaited 1 MW OTEC plant. This would become only the second positive OTEC facility ever, with Lockheed's Mini-OTEC in 1979 being the first.
- Titanium heat exchanger (HX) solutions for both the evaporator and condenser.
- Gave breakdown of a 10 MW floating system, where 16% would go for the HX and 25% to the floating structure.
- XP plate of titanium might be of advantage, where biofouling was negligible.
Yuka Kitakoji of Japan Marine United Corporation spoke on the construction technology for floating structures. This concept is to be utilized for the Fukushima floating wind farm.
Akio Okamoto of Kobe Steel Ltd. spoke on the applications of titanium for the evaporator and condenser. The improved conductivity overcomes the high cost, compared to aluminum. Using a special polka dot surface for the evaporator. However, a 150 MW OTEC plant would use the entire titanium mill production of Japan. The solution is to use thinner sheets specially strengthened through the application of ridges.
The afternoon session concluded with a panel discussion (above), moderated by John DeLong, determining recommendations for the Hawaii-Okinawa Energy Agreement and resolution of support for the 1 MW OTEC demonstration at NELHA. Right to left: Reiko Hamano (translator), Greg Barbour, Michael Eldredge, Yasu Ikegami and Shin Okamura.
OTEC legislation that became law. A few years later I returned to the University of Hawaii and with the new dean of engineering Paul Yuen, and a lot of important people, created the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research. The showcase project was OTEC, and, in terms of 2015 dollars, we put together, with Japan, a $50 million project, $16 million from Japan. The 250 kW open cycle project worked wonderfully, producing stable electricity and freshwater, and this experience provides a clue on how the current U.S.-Japan management of the proposed 1 MW OTEC facility might proceed.
OTEC is such a newly developing technology that cooperation is the best strategy to advance the concept. Approximately $25 million would be required to complete the task, for the cold water pipe is already in place. Otherwise, Japan might have to pay $100 million to build a new 1 MW project on Okinawa. The blockbuster announcement was that all the stakeholders (the speakers at this workshop) agreed to cooperate in building that 1MW OTEC facility at NELHA:
Typhoon Goni is at a dangerous 130 MPH, and will skirt the east side of Taiwan, causing considerable damage, while moving towards Miyakojima, Japan's solar island, then toward Kagoshima:
Super Typhoon Atsani is at 155 MPH, but all models show this monster affecting Ogasawara from the west, but continuing to move northwest away from Japan:
In the Atlantic, Tropical Storm Danny at 50 MPH will attain hurricane strength, and head in the general direction of Puerto Rico, but sufficiently weaken back into a tropical storm before affecting any major populated island: