Deep Ocean Energy Market Gains Momentum
Photo credit: Makai Ocean Engineering, Inc.
Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC), a new technology using the power of cold seawater, is gaining momentum for its potential use at naval bases and islands. Though not a new concept, the technology has never fully been developed amid centuries of cheaper fossil fuels—times are changing.
Thanks to innovations in the oil and gas industry, equipment used in OTEC is now becoming cost-competitive. And despite the high cost of OTEC power, researchers have found other uses that could potentially benefit remote areas surrounded by water, making up for projects in cost.
In the Bahamas, the country's utility has signed an agreement with a Pennsylvania company to build two 10-megawatt plants, while other established military contracts are making progress on their own plants.
Under the OTE Corporation, the Bahama's plans to build a pipe that would generate far more cold seawater to land than is needed for power, which would allow the islands to run desalination plants or grow commodities that otherwise wouldn't thrive in a warmer climate.
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OTE Corporation has invested $7 billion to build plants on shore at about $100 million each, running them under a 25 to 30 year power purchase agreement. Much of the water would be used for an “eco-industrial park” to produce fresh water, mariculture or produce from temperate greenhouses much like a similar plant operating in Hawaii. Lockheed Martin, another competitor, plans to build offshore platforms for the sole purpose of energy.
How it works
By creating electricity from the temperature difference between warm and cold seawater, cold water is pumped through a pipe 1,000 meters or more deep to meet warm seawater pulled from the surface in a heat exchanger with a chemical with a low boiling point. The steam runs off an electrical turbine and is then condensed back to liquid form with the cooler seawater.
UK Nissan fleet owners receive commercial charging service
UK fleet owners of Nissan Leaf and e-NV200 models can avail of a new commercial charging service using vehicle-to-grid (V2G) technology.
The V2G technology developed by DREEV, which is a joint venture between EDF and Nuvve, which specialises in V2G technology, allows for two-way energy flow; both recharging an EV’s battery when electricity is at its cheapest, and discharging excess energy to sell back into the grid.
Fleet customers will save around £350 savings per charger each year, which equates to approximately 9,000 miles of driving charge per year.
EDF’s V2G business solution includes:
The supply and installation of a two-way connected compact 11kW charger capable of fully charging a Nissan LEAF, depending on the battery model, in 3 hours and 30 minutes - 50 per cent faster than a standard charger - with integrated DREEV technology.
A dedicated DREEV smart phone app, to define the vehicles’ driving energy requirements, track their state of charge in real time, and control charging at any time
Philip Valarino, Interim Head of EV Projects at EDF, said today’s announcement marks an important step on the UK’s journey towards electric mobility. "By combining the expertise and capabilities of EDF, Nissan and Dreev we have produced a solution that could transform the EV market as we look to help the UK in its journey to achieve Net Zero," he said. “Our hope is that forward-thinking businesses across the country will be persuaded to convert their traditional fleets to electric, providing them with both an environmental and economic advantage in an increasingly crowded market.”
Andrew Humberstone, Managing Director, NMGB, said Nissan has been a pioneer in 100% electric mobility since 2010, and the integration of electric vehicles into the company is at the heart of Nissan's vision for intelligent mobility.
He added the Nissan LEAF, with more than half a million units already sold worldwide - is the only model today to allow V2G two-way charging and offers economic opportunities for businesses "that no other electric vehicle does today". Click here for more information.
FirstEnergy Corp, which aims to electrify 30% of its approximately 3,400 light duty and aerial fleet vehicles by 2030, has joined the Electric Highway Coalition. The group of electric companies, which has grown to 14 members, is committed to enabling long-distance EV travel through a network of EV fast-charging stations connecting major highway systems.
The Edison Electric Institute estimates 18 million EVs will be on US roads by 2030. While many drivers recognize the benefits of driving an EV, some are concerned with the availability of charging stations during long road trips. Through their unified efforts, the members of the EHC are addressing this "range anxiety" and demonstrating to customers that EVs are a smart choice for traveling long distances as well as driving around town.
Volta Industries has installed new charging stations at Safeway in Upper Marlboro, Maryland, and Renton, Washington.