Last week, the U.S. Trade and Development Agency awarded a grant to the National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) of India for a feasibility study to support the development of clean energy to replace fossil fuel generation in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands. The study will assess the implementation of innovative ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) technology that uses the temperature difference between warm surface water and colder deep water in the ocean to produce renewable energy for electricity generation. NIOT selected Virginia-based PCCI, Inc., to conduct the study.
“USTDA’s support for NIOT’s development of high-capacity OTEC power plants has the potential to provide sustainable, reliable energy for hundreds of thousands of people while advancing India’s climate goals,” said Enoh T. Ebong, USTDA’s Director. “Reducing carbon emissions is a shared priority, and U.S. industry solutions can help drive global progress toward a greener future.”
The feasibility study will explore the viability and implementation of two OTEC power plants in the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, which are currently almost completely dependent on diesel generators for power generation, to generate up to 26 megawatt of baseload electricity. The project is the first of its kind in India.
“OTEC is a baseload power and thus an important form of ocean renewable energy for a tropical country like India,” said Dr. G A Ramadass, NIOT's Director. “The USTDA partnership will assist in the objectives of putting up OTEC plants in the future with a prototype scale which will be suitable to address technical and commercial challenges.”
USTDA’s grant advances the Partnership for Global Infrastructure and Investment and U.S. – India Strategic Clean Energy Partnership initiatives, as well as USTDA’s Global Partnership for Climate-Smart Infrastructure.