Ocean Power Technologies (OPT), one of the pioneers of the US wave energy industry, has finalised a breakthrough deal with Italy’s Eni to supply a demo device to power one of the oil group’s subsea projects in Europe.

Under the deal, set to start this month, a PB3 PowerBuoy will be leased from OPT as part of two-year contract for installation at an unnamed Adriatic Sea oil & gas field. There it will be used to power a battery system and potentially a stand-alone charging station and communications platform for operation of maintenance and repair robots, known as autonomous underwater vehicles.