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 £2million 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 is the Thai national petroleum exploration and production company and operates in numerous countries worldwide. The business has a stated ambition to build readiness for the energy transition and to explore opportunities in renewable energy.

PTTEP 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 programme, which is taking place at a site 5km east of the Orkney 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.

“This inward investment underlines the international interest in the potential of our combined technologies,” states Ian Crossland, Commercial Director at Mocean Energy.

“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.”

Andy Martin, Chief Commercial Officer at Verlume added:

“The Renewables for Subsea Power project is a solution which can help decarbonise 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.”

Bundit Pattanasak, Senior Vice President, Technology Management Division from PTTEP says:

“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.”

Mhairi Begg, Project Manager at NZTC says:

“We are excited to have PTTEP join the consortium. This inward investment demonstrates the international potential of the technology and marks a significant moment in the project’s success. The consortium is a prime example of how global collaboration can advance green technologies and foster technology deployment.”

The Orkney deployment is the third phase of the Renewables for Subsea Power project. In 2021, the consortium invested £1.6 million 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 rigorous 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. Halo’s fundamental basis is its intelligent energy management system, Axonn, a fully integrated system which autonomously maximises available battery capacity in real time.