Electrification with the use of clean electricity is seen as a key alternative to lower CO2 footprint of E&P sites. In this sense, renewables can be used to generate power onshore which is treated in substations that can be grid-connected and transmitted to offshore fields via submarine transmission cables. The objective of this work is to evaluate the economic feasibility of generating onshore low-cost electricity from renewables and transmitting it to offshore platforms.
This work describes a model for optimizing a renewable energy system based on solar photovoltaics and/or wind energy, where solar and wind profiles are generated according to a described methodology. The model is based on hourly energy balances to account for periods with insufficient energy offer, where power from the grid is used as complement. For a certain grid electricity price, there is an optimum between renewable power generation capacity and grid power consumption. The model calculates the respective size and investment necessary in the renewable power system that minimize overall costs, as well as carbon emissions associated with grid use. The described methods are applied to evaluate the electrification of offshore platforms in the Pre-Salt region using renewable power from shore and comparing with traditional in-situ power generation from fossil fuels. The onshore substation with transmission costs and associated losses are considered to evaluate the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE) of a platform located at several distances from shore, where LCOE rises as the distance from shore increases.
The analysis reveals the existence of a break-even point where the LCOE from onshore power generation using renewables is equal to the LCOE from conventional in-situ power generation using fossil fuels. Moreover, the incorporation of a carbon penalty for CO2 emissions increases this break-even distance, emphasizing the importance of implementing incentives or policies designed to reduce emissions. In this sense, carbon taxes or other carbon pricing mechanisms enhance the competitiveness of the alternative employing renewable power from shore in comparison to in-situ power generation from fossil fuels.