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A Field Program for Developing a Baseline Characterization of Ichthyoplankton Near a Potential OTEC Facility

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Ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) is a marine renewable energy technology with the potential to provide baseload power to island communities in tropical regions. Large volumes of warm and cold water are required to drive the electricity-producing cycle. This creates a risk, particularly at the warm water intake, for the impingement and entrainment of organisms. This paper provides an update on the progress of a project funded by the U.S. Department of Energy that seeks to estimate the potential impacts of a warm water intake being considered for a potential OTEC project in Kauai, Hawaii. A 9-month, site-specific biological field sampling program has recently been completed at the OTEC site under consideration in Kauai.

The intent of the field sampling program was to generate a baseline characterization of the species and life stages of ichthyoplankton present in the areas where the warm water intake may be located for the potential OTEC facility. This baseline characterization data will aid in the siting, selection, and design of the best intake technology for the warm water intake. It will also provide data useful for estimating the potential impacts of an intake at this location on the organisms present.
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Keywords: OTEC; entrainment; environmental impact; impingement; intake

Document Type: Technical Note

Publication date: 2013-07-01

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  • The Marine Technology Society Journal is the flagship publication of the Marine Technology Society. It publishes the highest caliber, peer-reviewed papers on subjects of interest to the society: marine technology, ocean science, marine policy and education. The Journal is dedicated to publishing timely special issues on emerging ocean community concerns while also showcasing general interest and student-authored works.
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