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Cutting-edge technology that will supply developing countries with cleaner and cheaper fuel will also likely bring 3000 new jobs to Utah within the next five to six years. One hundred and twenty of those positions are slated to be filled by the second half of 2015.
Caribbean Pacific Foundation (CPF) - a non-profit focused on creating projects using offshore sea wind technologies to help eliminate poverty in developing countries - is gaining increasing interest from potential partners, funders and countries likely to invest in the technology.
After attending the Annual Meeting of National Government Ozone Officials in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic as one of two specially invited CPF guests, President and CEO Luis Antola said the organization made great strides toward advancing advocacy for their Ocean Energy Capture Storage (OECS) systems among the United Nations and government officials in attendance.
"Those from the Eastern Caribbean were particularly interested in the technology's capacity to help them ease the burden they currently face with regards to the high cost of electricity," Antola said.
While diesel generated electricity costs 33 to 36 cents per kilowatt-hour, CPF's offshore wind turbines are expected to cut rates by more than half, to an estimated 12 to 15 cents.
Several countries also inquired about the ability to utilize CPF's technology to produce natural refrigerant gases, and as a source of power for district cooling systems as an alternative to eliminating ozone depleting CFC gases.
Discussions with the Dominican Republic are at an advanced stage. The country's Ministry of the Environment and the Punta Cana Ecological Foundationare establishing a joint venture with the CPF, and are seeking to include additional partners to fund a pilot project in the country. CPF expects to have the Dominican Republic pilot secured by 2015, with other countries coming on board for pilot programs in 2016.
It's great news for the state of Utah, where all manufacturing for the turbines will initially take place, and where corporate offices will be based.
CPF Head of Operations and Manufacturing Engineer Paul Freeman said they expect to see growth exceeding over 100 turbines manufactured a month, and will eventually begin to move certain aspects of the manufacturing outside of Utah into the countries where the turbines are being installed.
"It is much easier to move raw materials than it is a finished product," Freeman said. "But there are certain aspects that we will keep here in Utah for proprietary reasons and those will have expansive growth. Refurbishing of the systems and units here will also need to happen on a regular maintenance schedule," he said.
CPF will be therefore be hiring mechanical, structural, process and electrical engineers to carry out this work, as well as skilled laborers who are experienced at working with composite materials such as carbon fiber and fiber glass. They will also hire tradesmen to refurbish and rebuild the fuel cells and electrolyzers needed to run the turbines.
Freeman has been involved with all aspects of CPF's OECS systems since 2010 and says given the sustainability of the technology, and the interest shown by other countries, the possibilities are limitless.
"We're using [off-shore] wind turbines to convert energy from sea winds into hydrogen, and I think hydrogen technology is incredible," Freeman said. "Because other than nuclear energy for conventional wind turbines, and solar panels, all of the ways we create our energy are from things that have a limited life span, whether that's natural gas, oil, diesel or coal," he said.
But because the wind continues to blow, Freeman sees the use of hydrogen fuel as truly sustainable, and limitless. As a result, he is confident the CPF project will take off, and in the process, tremendously benefit the islands that invest in the technology, as well as the State of Utah."
CPF is keen to meet with interested investors. To find out more about the Foundation's work and their Ocean Energy Capture Storage (OECS) systems, or to donate to the project please visit: http://www.caribbeanpacificfoundation.org or call: 530-500-CPF1 (530-500-2731).