Kaneohe Bay, Hawaii – The Navy’s energy future was the focus of a two-day NAVFAC Conference and Industry Day, held March 26-28 at the Koa Malina Officers Club, Marine Corps Base Hawaii (MCBH), Kaneohe Bay.
The Navy, in partnership with the U.S. Department of Energy, will select three ocean energy power developers to occupy Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) moorings at Kaneohe Bay.
"The Navy is committed to reducing our dependence on fossil fuels and is leading the way on the development of viable, renewable energy sources,” said NAVFAC Pacific Vice Commander Capt. Pete Lynch. “NAVFAC Pacific is working on ways to make the Navy’s shore infrastructure more energy independent and strengthen our energy security position. The ocean is an untapped resource and possible source of renewable energy. The conferences we are hosting will help us learn the new ocean energy technology and systems which exist today."
Presentations were received from more than forty energy companies worldwide, and renewable ocean energy information was shared between private industry and Navy engineers. The conference and industry day was intended to spotlight the latest in ocean energy technical development and, in partnership with private industry, utilize innovative technologies to achieve the Navy’s energy goals. Knowledge sharing was mutually beneficial to all participants.
“We learned so much during the presentations, especially in the one-on-one meetings with industry,” said Bob Fredrickson NAVFAC Engineering Service Center (NAVFAC ESC) Division Director, Ocean Facilities Department. “Many of the companies had technologically advanced ideas, some of which looked very promising. We also spoke with developers who are relatively new to the field, and we realize they still need to advance their research and development efforts before they are ready to become contenders for testing at WETS. Nevertheless, all input was welcomed, since we are hoping to add an ocean renewables component to the Navy and Marine Corps overall energy mix.”
The first day of the conference involved the Wave Energy Test Site (WETS) Industry Forum and dialogue on wave energy initiatives at MCBH. The Ocean Energy and Sea Water Air Conditioning (SWAC) Industry Forum was the main topic on the second day with discussions on diverse renewable ocean energy technologies, including offshore wind, ocean thermal energy conversion, wave, tidal, current, and ocean compressed air energy storage.
Navy and NAVFAC engineers will review data gleaned from the original Request for Information (RFI) process and all Industry Day responses before moving ahead to the next phase – selection of contractors for this project. Bidders must submit revised proposals and letters of commitment by mid-April. The actual design of new moorings and power cables is expected by the end of 2012, and the Navy is currently working with local residents and stakeholders on the completion of an environmental assessment for the proposed K-Bay site.