Energy supplier Shell has invested in the Renewables for Subsea Power (RSP) collaborative project, currently powering subsea equipment off the coast of Orkney.
The £2 million demonstrator initiative has been in the water for close to a year and it powers the subsea equipment through a combination of wave power and subsea energy storage.
Although the sum of the investment was not disclosed, the money was sourced from Shell Technology’s marine renewable programme, a global R&D group pursuing the mission of finding, screening, testing, and developing marine renewable energy technologies.
The project has connected its Blue X wave energy converter, built by Edinburgh company Mocean Energy, with a Halo underwater battery storage system developed by intelligent energy management specialists Verlume.
The Orkney deployment is in its third phase, with its consortium having invested £1.6 million into phase two of the programme in 2021.
Ian Crossland, commercial director at Mocean Energy, said: “This new investment by Shell underscores the international interest in our pan-industry project and we look forward to working with them and exploring potential new applications for RSP’s combined technologies.”
The RSP thus far
In August 2023, during the third phase, the project underwent a four-month test which proved that a subsea battery storage system can power subsea equipment via wave power.
Following the success of these tests, which showed an integrated alternative to subsea umbilical cables, the test programme was extended to conduct additional testing deliverables until Spring 2024.
The RSP project is also supported by French energy giant TotalEnergies, which invested to join the collaborative subsea wave power project off the east coast of Orkney, Scotland in December 2023.
The firm backed the project’s ambition to demonstrate that these technologies can provide a cost-effective alternative to carbon-intensive umbilical cables.