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Water energy could cut your electric bill in half

By Justin Fujioka
Published On: May 31 2013 08:23:31 PM HST

Generating electricity from the ocean. A local company says it can use ocean water to cut your power bill in half.

HONOLULU -

New hydroelectric technology could cut your electric bill in half.

Richard Navarro is president of Hawaii-based Creative Minds Solution and said he's developing the world's first device that uses the ocean to drive a land-based turbine to generate electricity.

"We're going to be subjecting them to a new type of element, specifically salt water," he said. "So we want to protect that and so there is a new nano-technology that we're looking at that will allow us to coat the turbines and prevent them from corrosion."

The system uses gravity to funnel water into offshore pipes, according to Navarro.

The water spins the turbines, generating power, before it's pushed back out through another pipe. He said the water will be warmer when it comes out, but not by much.

"We have two marine biologists on our team to examine any potential interaction with the water when it returns back to the ocean to make sure that there isn't any damage to live corals," said Navarro.

Navarro said he also plans on having filters on both pipes to block sea life or humans from getting hurt.

The turbines will be onshore, but buried. He said he will use the materials dug up to build berms he calls "aesthetically pleasing."

Navarro said each device will need about 15 acres of land and when complete, the area would look a lot like Magic Island. He's looking at Kapolei to build his prototype.

"There is easier connection to the grid for Hawaiian Electric Company," he said. "That reduces our cost, reduces their cost."

Navarro said they've started laying the groundwork for the project and is currently working on getting funding and an environmental impact assessment.  He says construction will take five to seven years.

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