7 November 2023 – The International Vienna Energy and Climate Forum (IVECF) hosted the official presentation of the advanced concepts for the next-generation Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) platform, last Friday, at the Hofburg Conference Centre, in Austria. Developed by Global OTEC and named Dominique, the structure can generate 1.5MW net output by harnessing the ocean waters using an array of OTEC modules and is set to be installed in São Tomé and Príncipe. The updated layout was presented during the Solution Session “Driving the blue and green economy aspirations of São Tomé and Príncipe through OTEC”. These advancements represent the recent advancements made for the structure after securing Approval in Principle (AIP) from Lloyds Register, last June.
The next step for Dominique’s implementation is a geotechnical (seabed) survey and the final detailed design of the project-specific system. This will allow for construction, followed by installation of the system. The company expects to start the commissioning of Dominique by the end of 2025. “We know Dominique is a life-changer for small islands and coastal nations, and that’s why we see the pace of the project on track for success. This is an important lesson we want to share with investors as the public-private partnership allowed the smooth undertaking of critical techno-economic, environmental and social studies to progress to this point”, highlighted Global OTEC’s Founder and CEO Dan Grech.
The moderator of the solution session where the designs were presented was Industrial Development Expert and coordinator of the GN-SEC Program at the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Martin Lugmayr. “Ocean energy is the forgotten renewable energy source, that has the potential to drive the blue and green economy aspirations of small islands and coastal nations”, said.
Representing the country that will have the first commercial-scale OTEC platform installed, the National Energy Director of the Directorate General of Natural Resources and Energy (DGRNE) of the Ministry of Infrastructure, Natural Resources and Environment of São Tomé and Príncipe (MIRNMA), Gabriel Maquengo, emphasised the relevance of the project. “OTEC is a new opportunity for São Tomé and Príncipe to explore renewable energy, meeting the national ambitions and goals of the National Determined Contributions”, added.
The solution session at the IVECF also had presentations from the Secretary General of the Ocean Thermal Energy Association, Benjamin Martin, Global OTEC investor and advisor Peter McCall, Development Environment Director at Aqualogos, João Almeida, and the Chief of Staff and Project Director at SIDS DOCK, Christine Neves Duncan. “The real success for us at this stage of the project, moving from idea to development and execution, is the importance of partnership. And the SIDS have found the recipe for that. We have found that donors and supporters are more welcoming and interested in developing partnerships between SIDs and the private sector”, concluded Christine Neves Duncan.
OTEC is a renewable energy technology that uses the temperature differences in both surface seawater and deep ocean water to generate clean and sustainable energy. By tapping into this vast and untapped energy source, SIDS and coastal nations have the potential to significantly reduce their dependence on fossil fuels and pave the way for a greener and more sustainable future. Dominique will play a key role not only for Sao Tome and Principe’s clean energy transition but for small island states worldwide, with the potential to decarbonise 10 GW of installed diesel capacity that needs to be replaced in the coming decade, across SIDS DOCK’s 32 countries.