Images via Makai

World’s largest ocean clean energy plant turned on in Hawaii

27 August 2015 | By Joe Quirke 1 Comment

The world’s largest Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plant has been activated in Kailua-Kona, on the US island state of Hawaii.

OTEC produces electricity by using the temperature difference between colder, deep-ocean water and warm tropical surface waters.

OTEC plants pump large quantities of cold seawater and surface seawater to run a power cycle and produce electricity.

The 105KW plant was built by Makai Ocean Engineering Inc., costing $5m.

The company says the plant can produce power all day, everyday, and is non-polluting and sustainable.

It says OTEC plants could be built in any tropical location with deep water.

The Hawaiian plant is connected to the grid and can power 120 homes.

“The plant is dispatchable, meaning the power can be ramped up and down quickly to accommodate fluctuating demand and intermittent power surges from solar and wind farms,” Duke Hartman, vice president of business development at Makai, told Bloomberg.

He added: “We think that ocean thermal-energy will be an important element of creating a stable grid with renewable energy.”

Hawaii is planning to be the first US state to be run entirely on renewable energy, a process that is scheduled to be completed by 2045.

Images via Makai.