by W. Allan Bean and Kenneth Haines GenOtec U.S.A.
A water and Power Purchase Agreement for five megawatts of OTEC-produced electricity and 1.5 million gallons of potable desalinated water per day has been negotiated up to signing with the Virgin Islands Water and Power Authority (WAPA). The land-based, closed-cycle OTEC plant facility will be built on St. Croix's north shore, where 1,000 meter-deep water is located within three kilometers from land.
The capital cost of the OTEC power system and the add-on multistage flash evaporation desalination water plant is estimated to be approximately $35 million. The OTEC project will be funded through equity financing at no cost to WAPA. Dept service will be paid out of revenues from water and power sales at $6.50 per thousand gallons and $0.65 per kilowatt-hour respectively, with rate adjustments annually, using prior-year actual maintenance and operation costs and selected price indices.
The WAPA/GenOtec Purchase Agreement is expected to be finalized in the last quarter of 1993. Preliminary site plans for the project and a summary of the project's protracted history from Proposal Development to Purchase Agreement Signing will be presented.
The cold seawater discharge from the OTEC plant will create several co-product industries for St. Croix: cold storage; air-conditioning of nearby hotels and condominiums; ice plants; aquaculture; drip agriculture and greenhouse horticulture.