Ecologically sound operations of projected Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) plants can be insured by careful attention to the marine environment during the design phase. This requires quality information from regions of potential OTEC interest. Currently, preliminary or actual surveys and laboratory studies are being conducted in the waters of Puerto Rico, the Gulf of Mexico, Hawaii, and Guam for potential moored OTEC plants and in the equatorial South Atlantic for proposed plant-ship operations to provide such benchmark and baseline data. These data plus existing archival information can be used to model effects of OTEC operations based on projected design schemes. Four major areas of concerns (1) redistribution of oceanic properties, (2) chemical pollution, (3) structural effects, and (4) socio-legal-economic; and 11 key issues associated with OTEC deployment and operation have been identified. In general mitigating strategies can be used to alleviate many deleterious environmental effects of operational problems as biostimulation. outgassing, etc. Various research studies on toxicity, biocide releases, etc., are under way or are planned to investigate areas where no clear mitigating strategy is available. A Master Plan listing procedures to be followed to identify and evaluate potential concerns at any OTEC proposed site is proposed for discussion and refinement in advance of any real OTEC test operations.
Assessment and Control of OTEC Ecological Impacts
Title: Assessment and Control of OTEC Ecological Impacts
December 01, 1978
Document Number: LBL-8967
Wilde, P.; Sandusky, J.; Jassby, A. (1978). Assessment and Control of OTEC Ecological Impacts. Report by University of California Berkeley. pp 22.