Grand Opening — Ocean Energy Institute Offices (USA)

The Ocean Energy Institute will be hosting a VIP celebration for the grand opening of its new office headquarters on Tuesday, July 20. The event is by invitation only and will then be followed by a public open house later at their offices in Rockland.

Among the dignitaries scheduled to speak are Maine Governor John E. Baldacci and Speaker of the Maine House of Representatives Hannah Pingree, along with representatives from the offices of US. Senators Susan M. Collins and Olympia J. Snowe, as well as US Representatives Chellie Pingree (Maine 1st District) and Michael Michaud (Maine 2nd District). Also expected to attend are state and municipal officials including Rockland Mayor Deborah E. McNeil.

The Ocean Energy Institute, founded in 2007 by Matt Simmons, is a not-for-profit think-tank that is underwriting research into potential areas of ocean energy generation and utilization. OEI will cover the broad range of ocean energy technologies and pursue research in generation, usage, storage, transmission, policy, environmental studies, economics, and public education.

OEI’s location in Maine is significant, as the waters of the Gulf of Maine are considered by many to offer the greatest potential for wind energy. It is also the home of the University of Maine that is undertaking the nation’s first deepwater turbine construction under a grant from the US Department of Energy (DOE). Mr. Simmons is the founder of Simmons & Company International, a venture capital firm specializing in oil industry investments.

“Oceans are the last energy frontier, yet we know so little about how to harness them. The Ocean Energy Institute’s mission is to quickly fill this knowledge void and let our oceans supply us the energy that fossil fuels have provided for the last hundred years,” Mr. Simmons said. He will also be speaking at the opening celebration.

Recently Mr. Simmons and OEI received the EnergyOcean International Education Pioneer Award presented to an “organization that has made a recent contribution toward promoting and educating the public about Ocean Energy uses, feasibility, benefits ands /or suitable locations for implementation of the technologies. ”

Mr. Simmons and his team are presently initiating a separate, for-profit corporation that will be acquiring promising ocean energy companies and technologies for investment purposes.

“We are looking hard and wide for ocean energy projects with the greatest promise that need, and deserve, the underwriting investments that OEI intends to make,” according to OEI managing director Robert West.

“We do not want to overlook any potential ocean energy project that holds promise of contributing significantly to the nation’s efforts to develop alternative energy sources,” Mr. West added. Current interests include deepwater floating turbine design, carbon-free ammonia production and its use as an alternate fuel, and desalination.


Source: oceanenergy, July 20, 2010;