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March 28, 2019updated 29 Mar 2019 11:48am

Eni develops wave-solar energy converter unit

Italian oil and gas company Eni has successfully installed the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC) production unit off the coast of Ravenna

By Jack Unwin

Italian oil and gas company Eni has successfully installed the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC) production unit off the coast of Ravenna, Emilia-Romagna, northern Italy. The company made the announcement at the Offshore Mediterranean and Exhibition in Ravenna.

The ISWEC unit, which converts energy from waves into electricity, has been installed with the world’s first hybrid smart grid system and reached peak output of 51 kW, 103% of its normal power.

Eni says that the technology is best-suited to powering medium and large offshore assets and will enable the company to convert older offshore platforms into renewable energy generation hubs.

The company undertook the work on the plant due to the potential of wave energy, which it describes as ‘the most underutilised renewable source in the world’ due to its extremely high energy density, predictability and low variability.

The project was completed with the help of the Politecnico di Torino, as part of Eni’s policy of integrating academia into the business world.

Eni tweeted: “It is essential that we find the most effective technologies and the best practices to support our activities, the green economy and the transition towards a new energy scenario.”

Other wave energy projects are taking place around the world. The European Union (EU) is funding a project called MegaRoller which if successful it could lead to an estimated 40,000MW of power and a reduction in CO2 levels of 110 million tonnes.

Carnegie Clean Energy in Australia and Scottish company DP Power are working on similar wave-solar and wave-wind hybrid projects.

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