Offshore Industry News

Ocean Thermal Energy Project Planned off Hawaii

Energy Harvesting Systems LLC has announced plans to develop a major ocean energy project off Hawai'i. The ocean thermal energy conversion, or OTEC, project, would be built off Barbers Point in West O‘ahu.


The heat stored in the tropical ocean surface layer is derived from the sun and constitutes the largest energy resource on the surface of the earth. This is the primary energy source that drives the world's weather. The daily natural energy flux through this system is approximately 10,000 times all the energy generated by human society from fossil fuels and nuclear fission in that same 24 hour period. Large scale development and deployment of OTEC platforms could potentially provide an environmentally friendly, sustainable energy solution.

Hans Krock and Alfred Yee formed Energy Harvesting Systems LLC to develop OTEC projects around the world. Their first project is being built in the Marshall Islands, as a demonstrator.

In 1979, Dr. Alfred A. Yee's company designed the structural modification of a steel barge on loan from the U.S. Navy to serve as a floating platform to support OTEC facilities off the southern coast of the island of Hawaii. This facility, known as MINI OTEC performed a major breakthrough in proving the D'Arsonval theory by generating 50KW of electric power while using 40KW of the 50KW generated to operate the system, resulting in a net 10KW output of electric power. Dr. Hans Krock played a scientific role in this MINI OTEC and subsequent studies.

The two men are in talks with Hawaiian Electric Co., although the firm is putting its focus on getting its Marshall Islands project up and running, with the help of other nations, including France, Japan and Germany.

OTEC has significant advantages over the other energy systems such as:

• OTEC is baseload energy available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
• OTEC is clean, sustainable, and 100% renewable energy.
• The tropical ocean heat reservoir is the largest energy resource on the surface of the earth, and is more than enough to supply all of humanity's energy needs in perpetuity.

For more information, click here.

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