Saga and Kumejima Exchange Class: Ocean Energy and OTEC

On July 18, 2017 students from West Yamashiro in Imari City, Saga, and Nakazato Elementary from Kumejima, Okinawa, met online with Saga University’s Institute of Ocean Energy for an online class and discussion. Students from Imari attended at IOES, while students from Kumejima attended from the Okinawa Deep Seawater Research Center. Connected online, both groups received an introduction to Ocean Energy, including OTEC, from Professor Yasuyuki Ikegami, followed by discussions, questions, and introduction of both locals by the students. The collaboration took place as part of a cooperation agreement between Saga University, Imari city, and Kumejima Town.

More details are available in this article (JPN).

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8th Ocean Energy and Economic Development Symposium

This past June 23-24, Hawaii State and Hawaii County hosted the 8th Ocean Energy and Economic Development Symposium under the Okinawa Hawaii Clean Energy Partnership. Thirty-eight participants from Japan traveled to Kona for the two-day symposium focusing on Ocean Energy, including OTEC, Deep Seawater Use, Education, the Environment, and for the first time, Economic Development from the former.

As Kumejima and Kona’s NELHA host the only two fully-operational OTEC plants in the world, the annual meeting at these two locations provide a unique opportunity to learn and share among the variety of experienced operators and stakeholders. Specifics on the agenda and other related information can be found on the official website at

We look forward to next year’s workshop here on Kumejima, tentatively scheduled for September 28 and 29, 2018.

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去る4月24日(月)、鶴保 庸介内閣府特命担当大臣が久米島を訪れました。沖縄県海洋深層水研究所、海洋温度差発電実証設備をはじめとする海洋深層水関連産業の他、久米島高校等も視察いただきました。



Cabinet Minister Yosuke Tsuruho Visits Kumejima

On April 24, Cabinet Minister of State for Okinawa and Northern Territories Affairs, Science and Technology Policy, etc. Yosuke Tsuruho, visited Kumejima. During his tour of Kumejima, he visited the Okinawa Deep Seawater Research Center and Okinawa OTEC Demonstration Facility in addition to Kumejima High School and other local facilities.

During his tour of ODRC, Director Shinichiro Kakuma, explained the facility and use of deep seawater in Okinawa. Professor Yasuyuki Ikegami of Saga University’s IOES explained the significance of Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion demonstration and research.

The Minister and others attending the visit were an enthusiastic audience, and we were happy to receive a variety of questions relating to the activities on Kumejima.

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Green Power Kids Club Workshop at OIST

This past weekend, we traveled to the Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology (OIST jp) to take part in a workshop for elementary students participating in the “Green Power Kids Club” organized by the Think the Earth Institute (jp) with sponsorship by the Green Power project. This program consists of four workshops culminating in presentations by the students at the Tokyo National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation.

The second workshop, which took place on January 14th highlighted the practical applications of renewable energy at OIST and in Okinawa through hands-on workshops with researchers at OIST. In addition to the various fields of research and demonstration proceeding at OIST, we were also invited to share Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion (OTEC) technology with the students in a 1 hour workshop. To this end, we brought the PICO OTEC mini demonstration model to OIST along with other power component demonstrators so that the students could see OTEC in action. Along with a brief presentation, students learned about various working fluids, the basics of turbines and power generation, and the benefits of having post OTEC deep seawater and surface seawater as a resource for industry.

We were encouraged to see elementary students with such an interest in science and renewable energy, and hope their interest continues to grow through this unique opportunity.

Photos courtesy of OIST, used with permission.

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Governor Ige of Hawaii Visits Kumejima

img_0567_1Every five years, Okinawa hosts people of Okinawan decent or relation at the Worldwide Uchinanchu Takiai, a chance for people from around the world to meet Okinawa as it is today, and learn about its history, culture, food, and more. This year, Governor of Hawai’i David Ige led a delegation from Hawai’i to attend the Okinawa Hawaii Cooperation Task Force Meetings and the International Environmental Energy Symposium from the Worldwide Viewpoints of Uchinanchus which took place alongside other Uchinanchu Taikai Events.

img_0591Within the busy schedule of their meetings with Okinawan and Japanese officials, the delegation also traveled to Kumejima to visit the OTEC facility and related deep seawater industries. With many similarities between location and culture, both Hawaii and Okinawa host the only fully operational OTEC facilities in the world. Within the framework of the Okinawa Hawaii Cooperation, there have been yearly workshops on Ocean Energy, however, there is growing potential for expanded cooperation amid the growing worldwide momentum in OTEC development.


Governor Ige’s recent visits to Makai Ocean Engineering’s OTEC Plant in Hawaii and his visit to Kumejima highlights the potential of OTEC to help Hawaii and other island communities meet their renewable energy goals. We hope the Governor found the information on ongoing projects here useful as a compliment to the work done at NELHA. Working together, Japan and the US may be able to accelerate the development of OTEC to commercial viability much faster than either location alone. A necessary and promising step towards ensuring locations around the world have access for renewable base-load power.

The Governor’s trip also coincided with Uchinanchu Taikai-related tours with 130 visitors from Hawaii traveling around the island and discovering the history and culture of Kumejima. Governor Ige was kind enough to provide remarks at the local Town Tourism Office which hosted a gathering of local shops, restaurants, and music for the visitors to gather and enjoy. Every year of cooperation highlights ever more similarities between Okinawa and Hawaii.


デビッド・イゲ ハワイ州知事による久米島視察

今年は、ウチナーンチュ大会関連イベントとして10月28日に開催された「国際環境エネルギーシンポジウム」及び10月31日に開催された「タスクフォースミーティング」に参加するため、デビッド・イゲ ハワイ州知事も来沖されました。





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第40回 沖縄の産業まつり特別展『海洋産業特別展』出展のご報告


久米島から持ち運んだ海洋温度差発電モデルでは、表層水と深層水をイメージした赤色の温水と青色の冷水を使って、低沸点の物質を蒸発、凝縮させることで、タービンが実際に回転する様子を見ていただきました。 3日間の来場者総数は24万人を超える盛況ぶりで、家族連れや企業の方など、多くの方に発電のしくみや久米島の取り組みの概要を説明することができました。 ご来場いただいた皆様、ありがとうございました。

40th Okinawa Industrial Festival


The 40th Okinawa Industry Festival Was held in Naha, Okinawa Prefecture on October 21 (Friday) to 23 (Sunday). This year, a special exhibition, the “marine industry special exhibition” showcased marine industrial activities throughout Okinawa Prefecture, including a stand from GOSEA at which we introduced Deep Seawater Use, OTEC, and the “Kumejima Model.” Staged in the Budokan stadium, the full range of Okinawan industries were showcased. Marine industries were further highlighted through a quiz rally that encouraged visitors to seek out information at a variety of booths in order to complete a quiz sheet.

dscn1561_1This event also marked the outside-Kumejima debut of our PICO OTEC model, a small scale OTEC demonstration unit that allows the general public to see inside the workings of an OTEC plant, including an operational turbine. The small model runs with the use of prepared hot and cold water.

Don’t forget that the International Environmental Energy Symposium will be taking place soon. Click the picture below for more information.

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Techno Ocean 2016

img_2275_1Every other year, Kobe hosts Techno Ocean, a conference bringing together technologies from all aspects of marine use. This year, we participated by presenting during the technical sessions on the status of the “Kumejima Model.” This year’s conference took place October 6-8 at the Kobe Convention Center. As the ocean is large, so to are the themes covered in the conference. The technical sessions were split into the following categories:

  • Ocean and Space Technology Collaboration
  • Marine Mineral Resource Development
  • Costal and Ocean Space Utilization
  • Sensor and Observing Instruments
  • Surface and Deep Seawater Utilization
  • Fisheries Engineering and Resource Utilization
  • Ocean Energy Development
  • Ocean Observing Platforms
  • Marine Environmental Monitoring and Impact Assessment
  • Oceanography and Education
  • Numerical Modeling and Simulation
  • Offshore Structure and Naval Architecture

In addition to this wide variety of talks, Techno Ocean also held an expo with companies and organization showing the latest programs and technologies to domestic and international markets. JAMSTEC an JOMEG had particularly large pavilions to demonstrate the variety of their ongoing activities.

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10月21日(金)~23日(日)に第40回 沖縄の産業まつり特別展が行われます。
沖縄県那覇市の奥武山公園 沖縄県立武道館(アリーナ棟)にて『海洋産業特別展』で「海洋エネルギー関連」の一つとしてブース出展いたしますので、お時間のある方は会場まで是非お越しください。

10月28日(金) 14:00~17:30 浦添市産業振興センター「結の街」にて、世界のウチナーンチュ大会連携イベントとして『国際環境エネルギーシンポジウム』が開催されます。



October Event Announcements

On October 21 to 23 (Friday to Sunday), there will be special exhibits at this year’s Okinawa Industry Festival (Sangyo Matsuri) featuring a “Marine Industry Special Exhibit” at the Okinawa Budokan (Arena) near Onoyama Park. For details see the website linked above.

On October 28 (Friday) from 2pm to 5:30 as part of the Uchinanchu Reunion Event there will be an International Environmental Energy Symposium at the Urasoe Industrial Promotion Center. For more information click the picture below for a pdf. Power company executives, businesses, and officials from Hawaii and Okinawa will be attending.

Finally, we look forward to welcoming participants from the above Symposium to an optional tour to Kume Island to see the Okinawa OTEC facility and related deep seawater industries.

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午後には、開催挨拶とオープニングスピーチの後、東京工業大学 先進エネルギー国際研究センター長 柏木 孝夫氏、米国エネルギー省日本事務所代表 ロス・マツキンブリジャー氏、内閣官房総合海洋政策本部事務局参事官 橋本 道雄氏の基調講演から始まり、沖縄とハワイで取り組みが進む海洋温度差発電と海洋深層水利用を主なテーマとした最新動向報告が行われました。


2日目の17日(土)午前中には、海外プロジェクトの近況や1MW OTECと海洋深層水複合利用に向けた開発の最新動向が発表されました。

img_0344_1午後には、「1MW OTECプロジェクト」「環境影響及びライフサイクルアセスメント」「海洋深層水の産業利用」「教育及び国際貢献」の4つのグループに分かれ、各グループにて白熱したディスカッションが行われました。



Despite the approach of typhoon 1616, the 7th Ocean Energy Symposium and Workshop was successfully held on September 16 and 17, 2016 with more than 100 attendees participating this year.

Friday morning, we were happy to welcome visitors from the US, Japan, and South Korea as part of an optional tour to the ODRC and OTEC Okinawa facility. In addition to the OTEC facility, visitors were able to tour Point Pyuru’s new cosmetics shop and museum, Kumejima’s Sea Grape Farm, and GO Farm’s Oyster research facility.

In the afternoon, several related parties greeted attendees including a kind written message from Ambassador Caroline Kennedy. Following the opening remarks, keynotes were provided by Takao Kashiwagi of AES, Tokyo Institute of Technology, Ross Matzkin-Bridger of the US DOE, and Michio Hashimoto from the headquarters for Ocean Policy. Finally, the first day was wrapped up with a look at Renewable Energy Strategies in Japan and the US with an introduction to OTEC as well.

Visitors and locals alike celebrated Okinawan and Hawaiian culture at the 2016 Kumejima Hawaiian festival, which also included a special ceremony commemorating the 5th anniversary of the Kumejima Town, Hawaii County Sister City Agreement.

img_0438The second day of the workshop began with welcome remarks from Hawai’i Governor David Ige, and an overview of the past 7 years of workshops by Yasuyuki Ikegami of the Institute of Ocean Energy at Saga University. Participants were able to delve deeper into the current status of OTEC and renewable energy projects around the world, followed by the latest developments towards 1MW OTEC and deep seawater industries.

img_0467The afternoon of the second day was devoted to subgroup discussions including OTEC Technology, Environmental Impact and Life Cycle Assessments, Deep Seawater Industries, and Education and International Cooperation. These subgroups gave stakeholders from both the US and Japan the opportunity to come together and discuss a variety of issues and opportunities. The discussions were brought back to the wider theme of the workshop through a panel discussion moderated by Masayuki Takahashi of DOWAS.

We look forward to the 8th Ocean Energy Symposium and Workshop in Kona next year.

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