HAE’s most advanced project involves deploying a fully operational Oceanus™ unit to generate electricity in the Agulhas Current within the Indian Ocean off the east coast of eThekwini Municipality, South Africa.  eThekwini has a population of approximately 3.5 million and its major city is Durban.  After the first installation, more Oceanus™ units will be deployed to generate substantial power that will be tied to the electrical grid that serves the region.  This early instance of harnessing ocean currents to generate power follows the same approach used with the initial efforts to establish the viability of solar and wind technology to produce electricity.

In addition to the progress made over the past few years to prepare the Oceanus™ system for this installation, three critical components of this project also include:

Investment Facilitation Letter

In January 2012, the eThekwini Municipality Deputy City Manager for Procurement & Infrastructure wrote to HAE to state that “I am delighted to confirm the Municipality’s in-principle support for the Hydrokinetic Power Generation System Project proposed by HAE.”  The letter noted that the Municipality is aware that it is HAE’s intention to “progressively expand its electricity generation capacity by adding additional generating modules and ultimately to sell electricity to the national grid as well.”  The letter continued to state that “We do not anticipate that there would be any obstacles to the eThekwini Municipality entering into a power purchase agreement (PPA) with HAE.”

Recommendation from the eThekwini Energy Office

In May 2012, the Energy Office of the Municipality sent a letter to the Executive Committee of eThekwini stating that the HAE project is being undertaken “with a view to demonstrating the potential for installing a much larger project that could provide significant electricity power generation potential to the local supply grid.”  In its recommendation to the executive committee to proceed with the project, the Energy Office noted that there are several various prospective ways to generate electricity for the region.  But their analysis was that “A more viable option for South Africa is harnessing the energy from ocean currents.”  They said that South Africa has two ocean currents that flow up and down the coast, namely the Benguela Current on the west coast and the Agulhas Current on the east coast, which they said was identified as “one of the five major ocean currents in the world based on the power, speed and consistency at which they flow.”

Memorandum of Agreement (MOA)

In April 2013, the eThekwini Municipality signed and officially entered into an agreement with HAE to assist HAE “obtain access to certain municipal property for the purpose of demonstrating its technology, and to facilitate in so far as it is reasonably possible any license, permission, and information and assistance” which HAE may require for its project.