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Eni-led group in Italy seeks to industrialise wave power device

Wave. Author: Barbara Walsh. License: Creative Commons. Attribution 2.0 Generic

April 19 (Renewables Now) - Oil and gas company Eni SpA (BIT:ENI) is joining forces with three other Italian parties to develop and build wave power stations on an industrial scale, it was announced today.

Eni has entered into a non-binding agreement regarding this project with investment bank Cassa depositi e prestiti SpA (CDP), shipbuilder Fincantieri SpA (BIT:FCT) and transmission system operator Terna SpA (BIT:TRN).

Just recently, the oil major successfully installed and activated the Inertial Sea Wave Energy Converter (ISWEC) production unit at the Ravenna offshore site, thus forming what the company says is “the world’s only hybrid smart grid system featuring photovoltaics and energy storage.” This pilot plant managed to reach a peak power output of more than 51 kW, which is 103% its nominal power, Eni said last month.

Today, the company noted that alongside its three compatriots it will work to industrialise the device. For this purpose, Eni will share its findings from the pilot project with the joint working group.

“Our ultimate goal is to explore together the potential for projects to be launched on a grand scale, including abroad,” said Eni CEO Claudio Descalzi.

Fincantieri’s expertise in shipbuilding will be used to optimise the executive design, construction and installation phases of the production units, whilst Terna will study the best possible options to connect and integrate the energy production system to the electricity grid.

The plan is to hook the first industrial installation to an Eni offshore production site by 2020. The group will also consider such projects elsewhere.

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