Wave-powered renewable energy for subsea projects

A coalition of energy companies has invested £1.6m into a programme to develop a wave-powered renewable energy system for subsea projects.

renewable energy
Image credit: S. Hermann & F. Richter from Pixabay

Marine energy company Mocean Energy has teamed up with energy storage developer EC-OG alongside Chrysaor, Modus, OGTC and Baker Hughes to fund the demonstration of the system. Their aim is to cost-effectively lower the carbon footprint of providing power to subsea equipment.

“The decarbonisation of oil and gas operations is essential for the energy transition,” said Cameron McNatt, Mocean Energy’s managing director. “Our technology uses renewable energy from waves to deliver low carbon power for subsea equipment, including tiebacks and future fleets of autonomous underwater vehicles AUV’s].”

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Due to be tested onshore in July and August 2021 with ambitions to test at sea later in the year, the initiative follows an earlier study in 2020, part-funded by OGTC and undertaken by the partners.

Paul Slorach, business development director at EC-OG explained that the company’s Halo smart subsea battery technology has been developed for managing the intermittency of renewable power generation, to reliably integrate renewable energy systems to high value subsea assets. 

The team believes there is potential for the system to be used in a number of subsea applications, including remediation of faulty umbilical cables in existing developments, as fast-track solutions for single well tiebacks, and as an enabler for ultra-long step out distances greater than 200km.

“This project will demonstrate the capability to provide temporary or semi-permanent modular series residency for hybrid autonomous vehicles (HAUV), recharged subsea and controlled from shore using ‘over-the-horizon’ technology,” said Nigel Ward, managing director at Modus. He added that the ‘innovative and flexible’ approach could reduce numbers of personnel required offshore, resulting in cost savings without compromised quality.

John Kerr, subsea production systems and technology director for Baker Hughes, Oilfield Equipment said: “Many subsea oilfield production systems will transition to all electric operations in the not too distant future, which will increase operational performance while simultaneously lowering the carbon footprint of the solution.”