French energy giant TotalEnergies (XPAR: TTE) has become the latest firm to join an innovative project in Orkney aimed at decarbonising subsea oil and gas projects with wave power.
The £2m demonstrator scheme, which kicked off its current phase in 2021, has connected the Blue X wave energy converter built by Edinburgh’s Mocean Energy, with a Halo underwater battery storage system from Aberdeen-based Verlume.
Now fully operational, it aims to show how green wave tech can be used to deliver power and communications to subsea equipment – offering a cost-effective alternative to expensive umbilical cables, which are carbon intensive for their long lead times to procure and install.
TotalEnergies is the latest to join the “Renewables for Subsea Power (RSP)” scheme, following Baker Hughes, Serica Energy and Harbour Energy, among others.
Joining RSP means TotalEnergies receives access to all data ad results from the test programme, be able to offer input, and receive a feasibility assessment for use of the RSP tech at a location of its choice.
The oil major will be supported by their Ocean Energy R&D team based out of Pau, France in the effort.
Dave MacKinnon, TotalEnergies Technology, Data & Innovation manager said: “Our participation in RSP demonstrates how important it is to us to pursue new ideas and technology that will support the decarbonisation of our oil and gas production business, both here in the UK and across the world.
“We’re pleased to be participating and look forward to seeing the results of this collaboration.”
The move comes as the UK sector seeks to decarbonise its operations under the North Sea Transition Deal signed with the UK Government in 2021.
Ian Crossland, commercial director at Mocean Energy said:“TotalEnergies is a global multi-energy company and this new investment underscores the international interest in the potential of our combined technologies.
“TotalEnergies has a long history in Scotland and an incredible track record in offshore operations, and their experience will be extremely valuable as we begin to commercialise our Blue Star product line.”
Andy Martin, chief commercial officer at Verlume added: “Renewables for Subsea Power is capturing industry-leading project data as we demonstrate how Verlume’s Halo subsea battery storage can reliably power subsea equipment through being recharged by a wave energy device.
“It is fantastic that TotalEnergies recognises the value of this data and has come on board within RSP to share insights such as further use cases for this technology system.”
The Orkney deployment is the third phase of the Renewables for Subsea Power project. In 2021, the consortium invested £1.6million into phase two of the programme – 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 programme of at-sea testing at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Scapa Flow test site in Orkney where they generated first power and gathered significant data on machine performance and operation.
Verlume’s seabed battery energy storage system, Halo, has been specifically designed for the harsh underwater environment, reducing operational emissions and facilitating the use of renewable energy by providing a reliable, uninterrupted power supply.