Carnegie gets funding to add solar to offshore gas facility in Timor sea

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Solar, storage and wave energy developer Carnegie Clean Energy has secured AU$200,000 of industry-matched funding from National Energy Resources Australia (NERA) to help it add solar power to an offshore gas platform run by Eni Australia in the Southern Bonaparte Basin.

Eni’s Blacktip Wellhead Platform, which is located around 110 kilometres off the northern coast of Australia in the Timor Sea‘s Bonaparte Basin, currently receives uninterrupted power supply from turbogenerators feeding a battery bank. The Blacktip gas field is fully owned and operated by Eni.

Carnegie and Eni Australia, a subsidiary of Italian power giant Eni, aim to integrate solar energy to the unmanned platform at a cost of AU$471,000 in order to reduce the total hours of turbogenerator operation and reduce extra costs associated with cold starts. Solar is also expected to reduce carbon emissions and improve system reliability.

NERA CEO Miranda Taylor said: “Until now, the use of traditional power generation has dominated offshore oil and gas facilities but this project demonstrates the possibilities and opportunities that can come from integrating renewable energy into offshore assets.”

A release from Carnegie also stated that, if successful, the project could provide a model for securing power availability in high-risk offshore environments.

Carnegie managing director, Dr Michael Ottaviano said: “We are seeing the range of applications for clean technologies extend further as their cost competitiveness and reliability continue to advance and are better understood by customers. Solar and battery systems are increasingly being considered for new applications, particularly in remote locations that are expensive and difficult to access.”

Gas from the Blacktip platform is exported to Northern Territory-based utility provider Power Water Corporation via an onshore gas processing facility at Wadeye, after passing through a 108 kilometre pipeline.

Carnegie is also working on the world’s first renewable energy microgrid that integrates wave energy, solar PV and energy storage technologies for Garden Island, off the coast of Perth.

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