OceanBased Perpetual Energy has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Florida Atlantic University’s Southeast National Marine Renewable Energy Center (SNMREC) to assist the company to develop commercial ocean current energy project.
Project to tap into Florida Gulf Stream’s 45 terawatt hours per year of persistent renewable energy and will be the world's largest commercial ocean current energy project.
The MoU establishes a mutual interest and agreement between the two entities for the development of the project.
The goal of the project, which plans to focus on an area off the southeast coast of Florida, will be the installation of hundreds of megawatts (MWs) of ocean current generating equipment. The equipment is planned to be installed below the sea surface, below the deepest drafts of any seagoing vessels, and connected to the U.S. transmission system.
The initial phase of OceanBased’s project will focus on verifying compatibility between generation and subsea transmission equipment. Installation of up to 1MW of shore-connected capacity is expected to follow, reaching up to 20MW within as few as five years.
“Wind has longtime been the star of the show when it comes to renewables, but we believe there is a vast untapped resource in our oceans to be the next great frontier of renewable energy. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimated that the Gulf Stream can produce up to 45 terawatt hours per year of generation for Florida. That’s as much as 2-3 of Florida’s nuclear generation plants. The Gulf Stream’s unique characteristics among renewables as a constant energy resource is what prompted us to choose this location,” said Nasser M.N. Alshemaimry, Chairman and CEO of OceanBased, a serial entrepreneur with decades of experience building companies in diverse sectors.
SNMREC is one of three centers designated by the U.S. Department of Energy to assist companies with the responsible development of marine renewables. Also designated as a State of Florida Center of Excellence, for nearly a decade FAU researchers have been tackling questions related to the success of marine renewables such as resource characterization, environmental interactions and technology gaps.
“This agreement helps to formalize our mutual interest in accelerating marine renewable commercial projects in the U.S.,” said Gabriel Alsenas, director of SNMREC. “We especially like to see this type of commitment from private sector project developers as a sign that our efforts to stimulate new markets with our research efforts is paying off.”
In 2019, OceanBased joined SNMREC’s Preferred Partner Program, which provides the company with access to customized guidance for its project scoping and market development needs. SNMREC plans to provide OceanBased with technical, strategic, and regulatory support, vital to the project’s success.
“We must invent and innovate ways to avert the great challenges, obstacles and dangers associated with global climate change,” said Nasser M.N. Alshemaimry. “We are proud to partner with FAU to launch one of the most ambitious renewable energy projects to date and make a statement that we cannot pretend, ignore, conserve or drill our way out of the global energy crisis. Unlocking the opportunities of our oceans is incredibly exciting, and we look forward to continuing to update on progress.”