Survey of Energy Resources 2007
OTEC Country Notes
Having an extremely long coastline, a very large EEZ area and suitable oceanic conditions, India's potential for OTEC is extensive.
Conceptual studies on OTEC plants for Kavaratti (Lakshadweep Islands), in the Andaman-Nicobar Islands and off the Tamil Nadu coast at Kulasekharapatnam were initiated in 1980. In 1984 a preliminary design for a 1 MW (gross) closed Rankine Cycle floating plant was prepared by the Indian Institute of Technology in Madras at the request of the Ministry of Non-Conventional Energy Resources. The National Institute of Ocean Technology (NIOT) was formed by the governmental Department of Ocean Development in 1993 and in 1997 the Government proposed the establishment of the 1 MW plant of earlier studies. NIOT signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Saga University in Japan for the joint development of the plant near the port of Tuticorin (Tamil Nadu).
During 2001 the Department of Ocean Development undertook an exercise to determine the actions required to maximise the country's potential from its surrounding ocean. The result was a Vision Document and a Perspective Plan 2015 (forming part of the 10th 5-year plan) in which all aspects of the Indian Ocean will be assessed, from the forecasting of monsoons through the modelling of sustainable uses of the coastal zone to the mapping of ocean resources, etc.
It has been postulated that most of India's future fully-commercial OTEC plants will be closed cycle floating plants in the range 10-50 MW (although 200-400 MW plants are not ruled out). Working with Saga University, NIOT had planned to deploy the 1 MW demonstration plant in March/April 2003. However, mechanical problems prevented total deployment and the launch was delayed. Following testing, it was planned to relocate the plant to the Lakshadweep Islands for power generation prior to full commercial operation from scaled-up plants. No further progress has been reported.