Wave power specialists Mocean Energy has secured major new investment that will help accelerate the commercialisation of its wave energy technology and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas.
The Edinburgh start-up has raised £612,000 equity seed funding plus £250,000 from Innovate UK to advance the design of their Blue Star wave machine, with the first prototype to begin testing in 2021.
The funding round has been led by business angel syndicate Equity Gap and includes investment by Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund, and the Scottish Investment Bank, the investment arm of Scottish Enterprise.
Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt said the company’s goal is to produce a commercially-available wave machine which can deliver low carbon power for tie backs and future fleets of autonomous AUVs (autonomous underwater vehicles). To do this, McNatt has worked alongside company co-founder Chris Retzler to build a 12-strong expert team adopting cutting-edge thinking in using numerical modelling coupled with AI-optimisation to design their state-of-the-art wave machine.
“Blue Star has been created from first principles to operate autonomously in remote locations and deliver green energy for a range of applications – including scientific ocean monitoring, aquaculture, oil and gas, and delivering energy to remote communities,” explained McNatt. “We are currently working with firms in the Scottish supply chain to build and deliver our first prototype, which will commence testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney next year.
“The Innovate UK grant will enable us to advance our engineering design, including a new power take off, moorings and umbilical, and will deliver additional grant support to our project partners Newcastle University’s Electrical Power Research Group and Rosyth-based electronics-specialists Supply Design.”
Earlier this year Mocean Energy announced a pilot project with the Oil and Gas Technology Centre (OGTC), oil major Chrysaor and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to study the potential to use their Blue Star prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle.
Last year, Mocean Energy secured £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland to build and test a half-scale version of their technology at sea. The device is currently being completed at AJS Fabrication at Cowdenbeath in Fife.