Hydropower

DOE Awards Lockheed Martin Ocean Thermal Energy Contract

Lockheed Martin has been awarded a cooperative agreement contract with a maximum value of US $1.2 million by the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) to demonstrate technologies to enable ocean thermal energy power generation.

Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) uses the ocean’s thermal gradient to drive a heat engine. Since the ocean’s temperature difference is relatively small, large volumes of seawater must be moved to generate commercial levels of power.

The fabrication and installation of large diameter cold water piping is required to reach depths of thousands of feet and represents one of the largest technical challenges to the successful installation and operation of an offshore OTEC system, according to Lockheed Martin.

Under the terms of the cooperative agreement with DOE, the company will demonstrate a cold water pipe fabrication approach using modern fiberglass technology and low-cost composite material manufacturing methods at prototype and pilot plant scales.

The company’s Virgina-based business will lead the OTEC effort and fabrication work will be performed at Lockheed Martin’s Advanced Technology Center in Sunnyvale, California. West Virginia University‘s Constructed Facilities Center will also support the project for the pilot plant scale demonstration.