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Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion Project Sent to FEMA for Approval

By on July 7, 2022

If Built, 10 MW Plant Could Serve 34,000 Customers; Proposal: First Facility Would be Built in Yabucoa

Describing Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) as one of the “best kept secrets” in renewable energy, the executive director of Puerto Rico’s Central Office for Recovery, Reconstruction and Resilience (COR3), Manuel Laboy, said that a proposal to build a plant in Yabucoa was submitted to the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) this week.

The renewable energy technology is utilized to harness power from the differences in temperature, known as thermal gradients, between deep ocean waters, which are colder, and shallower, or sea surface water, which is warmer.

Although in 2019 Laboy was pushing for the private sector to invest in an OTEC plant, after analyzing the federal and local public policies on clean energy, the official said that COR3 has now opted to submit the proposal to FEMA under a program that allows for projects that address future hazards and risks to be built while allowing for renewable/clean energy projects to be eligible for funding.

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