An interhemispheric box model of the Atlantic thermohaline circulation (THC) is modified by replacing the tropical box with two vertically resolved sub-domains. Seawater flows from large-scale ocean thermal energy conversion (OTEC) are allowed in one of the tropical sub-domains. Under present conditions and standardized OTEC operations, steady-state net power production density would reach a maximum of about 80 kW/km2 (corresponding to 1.8 TW) with a cold seawater withdrawal per unit area of about 14 m/yr. This maximum reflects the impact of large OTEC flows on the oceanic thermal structure, although the THC would not be significantly affected. It is larger than a recently suggested worldwide value of the order of 30 kW/km2 because of the relative strength of the Atlantic THC. Under asymmetric high-latitude warming scenarios potentially representative of current climatic trends, a substantial weakening or a reversal of the THC are possible. In the former case, recoverable OTEC resources could practically vanish. In the latter case, the emergence of a stronger reverse THC eventually could boost OTEC resources. Such events are hypothetical and would unfold over centuries, but the mere possibility of their occurrence challenges the accepted notion that OTEC resources are forever renewable.