Subsea energy storage experts EC-OG have teamed up with energy major Chrysaor, wave power pioneers Mocean Energy and AUV specialist Modus in a project to look at using renewable energy for subsea power.

The project, funded by the partners together with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), will look to use Mocean Energy’s Blue Star wave energy converter and EC-OG’s HALO subsea energy storage system to power subsea tiebacks or residential AUVs.

If industry feedback is positive, the partners will press ahead with a technology field trial using a Mocean Energy prototype in the seas off Orkney later this year.

Once proven, these technologies could provide vital backup power in case of umbilical failure, with potential to provide green power for future fleets of autonomous AUVs.

“Our first step will be an industry workshop at the OGTC in Aberdeen on 27 February where we will gather information on real-world applications and our field trial plans,” explains Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt.

“We then plan to forge ahead with a field trial later this year at our test site in Orkney.”

Last year, Mocean Energy secured £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland to build and test a half-scale version of their technology at sea. The device is currently being fabricated.

“This project gives us the opportunity to put our prototype to real use and will give us the chance to draw on the subsea expertise of our project partners.

“It is a genuine opportunity to showcase the potential for renewable energy to power a subsea application,” McNatt concludes.

Commenting on the project Nigel Ward, Chief Commercial Officer at Modus said: “This project will demonstrate capability to provide temporary or semi-permanent modular subsea residency for HAUV systems controlled by over the horizon technology. This innovative approach to survey and inspection will reduce the numbers of personnel offshore, providing significant safety benefits and cost savings.”

Paul Slorach, business development director from EC-OG said: “Our goal with this project is to demonstrate not just the technical feasibility, but also the financial benefits and carbon savings from using renewable energy to power subsea infrastructure.”

Myrtle Dawes, Solution Centre Director at the OGTC added: “This project is a phenomenal example of cross-industry collaboration – one that brings together EC-OG, who were one of the first companies the OGTC supported, with Mocean Energy, who graduated from our TechX programme at the end of 2019 – to deliver an innovative technology that can help accelerate the industry’s move towards a net zero carbon economy.

“The upcoming industry workshop will be key in forging closer cross-industry partnerships, allowing us to transform how we operate, inspire innovation and ultimately see the North Sea lead the way in energy transition technologies.”