New funding for OTEC in the amount of $2.25million from the U.S. Department of Energy (USDOE) assures that the Net Power Producing Experiment (NPPE) for Open-Cycle Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OC-OTEC) in Hawaii, sponsored by the USDOE and the State of Hawaii, will move ahead on its design and construction schedule toward operation in mid-1992.
The NPPE will generate 210 kw (gross) using a radial inflow turbine generator system that is under construction by Mechanical Technology, Inc.(MTI)of Latham, New York.
Final design for the NPPE is proceeding according to schedule at the Pacific International Center for High Technology Research(PICHTR), with technical assistance provided by the Solar Energy Research Institute. Contracts for manufacture of the major components, including sea-water pumps and vacuum system are under negotiation.
The construction phase will begin by March 1991 at the Sea-coast Test Facility, Natural Energy Laboratory of Hawaii,on the Kona coast of the Big Island of Hawaii where the Mini-OTEC demonstrated the concept of closed-cycle OTEC in 1979. After shakedown tests are completed in early 1992, the system will be operated for two years to obtain experimental and operational data on a power-producing open-cycle OTEC plant.