Renewable Ocean Energy Technology at Industry Forum

By Curious

Navy’s energy future was on the focus of a 2-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, is going to select 3 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 managing the way on the development of viable, renewable energy sources,” said NAVFAC Pacific Vice Commander Capt. Pete Lynch. “NAVFAC Pacific is working on ways in doing the Navy’s shore infrastructure more independent of energy and strengthen our energy security position place. The ocean is an untapped resource and possible source of renewable energy. The conferences they are hosting is going to help us learn the new ocean energy technology and systems that exist today.”
Presentations were received from more than 40 energy firms worldwide, and renewable ocean energy statement 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 accomplish the Navy’s energy purposes. Knowledge sharing was mutually beneficial to all members. “We learned so much during presentations, especially in the 1-on-1 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 want to advance their research and development efforts before they are ready to be 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 1-st day of the conference involved the WETS Industry Forum and dialogue on wave energy initiatives at MCBH. The Ocean Energy and Sea Water Air Conditioning Industry Forum were the main topics on the 2-nd 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 are going to review data gleaned from the original Request for Information process and all Industry Day responses before moving ahead to the next phase – selection of contractors for this project. Bidders must submit revised offers 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.