Renewables for Subsea Power

Wave power for subsea equipment project finishes 12-month-long test program

Renewables for Subsea Power (RSP) project which has combined wave power with subsea energy storage to power subsea equipment has completed a 12-month test program at sea, aiming to reach the finish line this spring. 

Source: Verlume

This £2 million (approximately $2,5 million) project connected the Blue X wave energy converter that was built by Mocean Energy with a Halo underwater battery storage system. The system was developed by Aberdeen intelligent energy management specialists in Verlume.

The final phase which will comprise the removal of all equipment from the site, ahead of inspection and clean down onshore in Orkney and at Verlume’s operations facility in Dyce, Aberdeen is to start soon.

“The test programme has been a tremendous success,” said Andy Martin, Chief Commercial Officer at Verlume.

“This phase of RSP was initially conceived as a four-month at-sea demonstration, but the quality of data and the robustness of our combined technologies as well as tremendous support from the oil majors, led us to extend the programme to a full year. We now have increasing confidence in the reliability and the commercial potential of this system.”

The industry-supported project, situated 5 kilometers east of Orkney Mainland, demonstrates the integration of green technologies to deliver consistent and sustainable low-carbon power and communication to subsea equipment. 

This is said to present a cost-effective alternative to umbilical cables, known for their carbon intensity and lengthy procurement and installation processes.

Energy majors TotalEnergies and Shell joined project leads Mocean Energy and Verlume in the pan-industry initiative recently, alongside the Thai national oil company  PTTEP, Serica Energy, Harbour Energy, Baker Hughes, Transmark Subsea, and the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC).

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Lately, energy companies such as TotalEnergies and Shell Technology – Marine Renewable Program have partnered with project leaders Mocean Energy and Verlume in a pan-industry effort. 

This initiative also includes participation from PTTEP, the Thai national oil company, Serica Energy, Harbour Energy, Baker Hughes, Transmark Subsea, and the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC).

“In the subsequent months, all the technology providers will examine critical components for wear and tear against performance metrics defined both individually and as a fully integrated power and communications ecosystem,” said Ian Crossland, Commercial Director at Mocean Energy.

“A key part of this process will be assessing lessons learned and any future upgrades that may be required for a fully commercial system.”

The joint industry participants and developers are currently assessing near-term and future strategies for additional deployment or potential testing on live assets. 

This may encompass the deployment of a similar project in Scottish waters, and/or new projects overseas, to showcase how the combination of green technologies can facilitate dependable low-carbon power and communication to subsea equipment in a live environment.