According to a statement, the six-month project will examine the potential of the Wave Treader device to provide sustainable electricity to unmanned platforms and offshore installations being decommissioned.
The device works by rotating to face into oncoming waves and converting the motion of the wave into electricity. This electricity is then fed back to the shore through the offshore windfarm’s existing cable network.
Graeme Bell, chief executive officer of Green Ocean Energy, said: ‘Wave Treader was originally designed to attach onto offshore wind turbines, but this project is to explore using Wave Treader with either new or existing offshore oil and gas installations.
‘Remote manned and unmanned offshore platforms currently rely on diesel generators for electricity. These incur fuel and maintenance costs, additional vessel activity and health and safety issues, as well as contamination and pollution risks. There is great potential for our wave energy project to revolutionise how the oil and gas sector is powered.’
Initially the project will assess the suitability and level of demand for a local energy source at a range of locations. Detailed investigation of wave resources, potential deployment methods and structural loading impacts will be carried out, alongside establishing a power matrix to quantify power demand and indicate the required size of Wave Treader.
Dorothy Burke, operations director of ITF, a not-for-profit organisation owned by 26 major global oil and gas companies, said: ‘Sustainability is a constant thread to new technology developments and this pioneering project could lead the way for the future of the offshore oil and gas sector.
‘ITF invested £25,000 from our Pioneer Fund, which supports the early-stage development of… technologies and also secured a further £20,000 investment from one of our operator members.
‘The Wave Treader device may be the key catalyst to a clean source of electricity to power offshore operations.’
Further funding for the project has been raised from GDF Suez, Tata Steel and Bosch Rexroth.