China-U.S. Ocean Thermal Energy Plant Development
Lockheed Martin and Reignwood Group to develop South China Sea ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) power plant.
A memorandum of agreement between the two companies was signed recently in Beijing. Following the ceremony, both companies met with United States Secretary of State John Kerry during his first official state visit to the People’s Republic of China.
The 10-megawatt offshore plant, to be designed by Lockheed Martin (LMT), will be the largest OTEC project developed to date, supplying 100 percent of the power needed for a green resort to be built by Reignwood Group. In addition, the agreement could lay the foundation for the development of several additional OTEC power plants ranging in size from 10 to 100 megawatts, for a potential multi-billion dollar value.
OTEC takes the natural temperature difference found in the ocean in tropical regions and uses it to create power. This technology is well-suited to island and coastal communities where energy transportation costs typically make other sources of power very expensive. The process provides a native power source to areas, and, like other renewable energy technologies, OTEC plants will be clean, sustainable and powered by free fuel.
Unlike other renewable energy technologies, this power is also base load, meaning it can be produced consistently 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. A commercial-scale OTEC plant will have the capability to power a small city. The energy can also be used for the cultivation of other crucial resources such as clean drinking water and hydrogen for applications such as electric vehicles.
“The benefits to generating power with OTEC are immense, and Lockheed Martin has been leading the way in advancing this technology for decades,” said Dan Heller, vice president of new ventures for Lockheed Martin Mission Systems and Training. “Constructing a sea-based, multi-megawatt pilot OTEC power plant for Reignwood Group is the final step in making it an economic option to meet growing needs for clean, reliable energy.”
In the picture: Secretary of State John Kerry, middle, met with representatives of Lockheed Martin and Reignwood Group