19 April 2023 – An important milestone on the way to building the first commercial Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) platform was achieved by Global OTEC Resources. This April, the UK-based company received its first Certificate of Approval for the methodology of installation of a Cold-Water Riser, for the purposes of an offshore OTEC platform. This forms a crucial step in the design process, using standards already tested and applied to the Oil and Gas industry for implementation in OTEC deployments.
The certificate was issued by the Marine Warranty Surveyor company ABL Group and has been in effect since the 4th of April. This approval is particularly important given the technical challenges faced by OTEC installations, and the long history of OTEC’s unsuccessful implementations. “History is an important teacher, and we are committed to learning from it. Failure of previous OTEC projects highlights where we should exercise caution, so third-party technical due diligence from the earliest stage is important for our success”, says Global OTEC Founder and CEO, Dan Grech.
Global OTEC has designed what will be the first commercial-scale OTEC system, the 1.5 MW floating platform named Dominique. Set to be installed in São Tomé and Príncipe in 2025, this will be a shining example to the rest of the world of how diesel fuel imports can be replaced with clean energy from the ocean.
Generating power from the temperature difference naturally present across the tropical area of the ocean, OTEC uses warm surface seawater to evaporate a fluid, which produces a vapour that spins a turbine. Cold water from deep in the ocean is then used to cool the vapour and condense it back into a liquid so the cycle can continue all year round.
where otec works
The OTEC technology is viable primarily in the tropical, equatorial regions of the world, where the year-round ocean temperature difference is at least 20 degrees Celsius. This area comprises over a hundred territories, with a resource estimated to be equivalent to more than 7 terawatts. Check our map here to see in which areas of the world OTEC works.