The Blue X wave energy device (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)

Thailand’s energy major joins ‘wave power for subsea equipment’ scheme

Thailand’s state energy company PTTEP has joined the ‘Renewables for Subsea Power (RSP)’ collaborative project which is intended to prove the concept of powering subsea equipment with wave power and intelligent subsea energy storage.  

The Blue X wave energy device (Courtesy of Mocean Energy)

The £2 million (€2.3 million) demonstrator initiative, which has taken to the seas in the north of Scotland, has connected the Blue X wave energy converter – built by Edinburgh company Mocean Energy – with a Halo underwater battery developed by Aberdeen intelligent energy management specialists Verlume.

The fully operational project, which is in situ off the coast of Orkney, aims to show how green technologies can be combined to provide reliable low carbon power and communications to subsea equipment, offering a cost-effective alternative to umbilical cables, which are carbon intensive with long lead times to procure and install.

PTTEP, the Thai national petroleum exploration and production company, has invested in the scheme and will now join project leads Mocean Energy and Verlume to become consortium partners alongside Baker Hughes, Serica Energy, Harbour Energy, Transmark Subsea, and the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC).

Joining RSP will provide PTTEP access to all data and results of the test program, which is taking place at a site 5 km east of the Orkney’s mainland. PTTEP will also be able to offer input to test plans and will be provided with a feasibility assessment of the use of RSP technology at a location of their choice. 

Ian Crossland, commercial director at Mocean Energy, said: “This inward investment underlines the international interest in the potential of our combined technologies.

“Scotland has a long track record in subsea excellence and is the global leader in wave technology development, and we are delighted that PTTEP has decided to come on board.”

Bundit Pattanasak, senior vice president of technology management division at PTTEP, said: “We are pleased to be joining this collaborative venture at such an exciting moment where we can learn lessons alongside our new partners and also share in the project’s success.

“PTTEP is committed to net zero greenhouse gas emissions goal in 2050 and one of the initiatives is to maximize the use of renewable energy in our operations. We can see the potential of the RSP project that will support us to achieve the decarbonization target.” 

Andy Martin, chief commercial officer at Verlume, added: “The RSP project is a solution which can help decarbonize operations in many locations across the world and the further expansion of the project consortium is a concrete example of international demand.

“We look forward to receiving PTTEP’s input and insights and to working closely with them alongside the consortium members to further explore our energy transition enabling technologies.”

The Orkney deployment is the third phase of the RSP project. In 2021, the consortium invested £1.6 million (€1.9 million) into phase two of the program – which saw the successful integration of the core technologies in an onshore test environment at Verlume’s operations facility in Aberdeen.

In 2021, Mocean Energy’s Blue X prototype underwent a program of rigorous at-sea testing at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC’s) Scapa Flow test site in Orkney where it generated first power and gathered significant data on machine performance and operation.

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