Spindrift Energy makes a hydrokinetic electrical power generation device capable of generating baseload electrical power at a cost of less than 1.5 cents / kWh. That’s less than half the cost of power generated by coal-fired power plants. Spindrift Energy devices are simple, inexpensive, low-maintenance and durable. We estimate that each device will cost $170k to build, and will generate 500 kW of power, giving them a capital cost of $340 / kW. Spindrift Energy will be able to compete in the world’s energy markets without subsidies.
Spindrift Energy devices are not anchored, so they can operate in water of any depth. It is the deep-sea capability, and the vastness of the ocean, that enables farms of Spindrift Energy devices to potentially be scaled to meet any level of demand. Power will be brought back to shore via undersea cable, using the same proven method used by offshore wind.
The sea is powerful, and there is a risk of storm-related damage to any machine deployed in it. However, Spindrift Energy devices were developed with this risk in mind. Spindrift Energy devices only expose two moving parts to the sea – a shaft and a turbine. And, because Spindrift Energy devices have a high degree of buoyancy, and are not tethered to the ocean floor, they ride, rather than resist, even the largest ocean waves, making them highly survivable.
A Life Cycle Analysis indicates that the production of each device will produce 63 tonnes of CO2e, primarily due to the use of concrete. However, each device should generate 75 million kWh of energy during its 20-year lifetime. Therefore, each device’s lifetime energy output should displace between 40,000 and 80,000 tonnes of CO2e, depending on the fuel displaced.
Utilities around the world are being mandated to utilize and sell ever-increasing amounts of renewable energy. These renewable mandates can be challenging to satisfy. And since 37% of the world’s population lives within 60 miles of a shoreline, and 70% within 200 miles, most of the world’s cities and grids can be powered by Spindrift Energy devices. The available global market is huge.
Spindrift technology has many competitive advantages. While the device beats the economics of fossil fuel head-to-head, its capital-cost advantage (@ $340/kW) vs. other renewable energy sources is even more significant. Renewable energy systems typically have capital costs ranging from $2k to $8k / kW. And, other wave energy devices have capital costs ranging from $4k to $23k / kW. And, unlike wind- and solar-energy devices, whose power is intermittent and unreliable, and therefore unsuitable to provide utilities with “baseload” power, the output of Spindrift Energy devices is consistent and predictable (up to 48 hours in advance) and well suited for use as a source of baseload power.