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Eni’s new wave power device to convert mature offshore platforms into renewable energy hubs

Italian oil and gas company Eni has activated the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC), offshore Ravenna, capable of converting energy generated by waves into electricity, which will in the future enable Eni to convert mature offshore platforms into renewable energy generation hubs. 

Source: Eni

Eni said on Wednesday it had installed and activated the device capable of converting energy generated by waves into electricity and adapting to different sea conditions, to guarantee a high continuity in energy production.

The pilot plant was installed at the Ravenna offshore site by Eni’s Central Northern District and has been integrated into the world’s only hybrid smart grid system featuring photovoltaics and energy storage as well. It reached a peak power output of over 51 kW or 103% of its nominal power.

Eni noted that this technology is suitable for powering medium and large offshore assets and, in the future, will enable Eni to convert mature offshore platforms into renewable energy generation hubs.

Decarbonization of offshore processes

According to Eni, waves are the most underutilized renewable source in the world, with extremely high energy density, high predictability and low variability, making them a very promising future energy source suitable for the decarbonization of offshore processes.

Eni also said that its commitment to researching and developing energy from renewable sources jointly with the Politecnico di Torino (PoliTO) and the spin-off Wave for Energy S.r.l. has led to the identification of wave power’s potential and recognizing it as the most unexploited renewable energy resource worldwide.

The power available by waves can be adapted to off-grid scenarios and, at the same time, works alongside other renewable sources to create a resilient energy system with zero emissions.

The Italian oil company’s activation of the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter is not its first venture into wave energy. Namely, Eni in March 2018 signed a contract with Ocean Power Technologies for the supply of OPT’s PowerBuoy in the Adriatic Sea for marine environmental monitoring and offshore asset inspection using autonomous underwater vehicles.

OPT’s PowerBuoy consists of a float, spar, and heave plate. The float moves up and down the spar in response to the motion of the waves, generating electricity for the onboard payload or for export to nearby marine applications using a submarine electrical cable.

Eni and OPT agreed to use the PowerBuoy technology to demonstrate subsea battery charging so that it eventually might be used to provide a stand-alone charging station and communications platform that would enable the long-term remote operation of AUVs.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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