The new funds will also enable Mocean to advance the design of its next-generation Blue Star wave machine and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas.
This article was originally published on our sister website Power Engineering International.
The funding round, led by the angel-funding syndicate Equity Gap, saw investment by government investment body Scottish Enterprise, as well as the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund, Old College Capital. The new funds follow an £862,000 ($1.15 million) seed raise, which was completed in 2020, comprising £612,000 ($820,649) equity funding plus a £250,000 ($335,175) grant from Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency.
Last year, the Scottish firm successfully trialed its Blue X prototype at sea at the European Wave Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney. Currently, the company is collaborating with partners to advance a demonstrator project, called Renewables for Subsea Power, to show how its technology can be coupled with underwater energy storage to provide reliable low-carbon power to subsea equipment and autonomous underwater vehicles.
Mocean Energy now plans to test this system at sea this year.
Commenting on the new funds, Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt noted: “The equity funding is a tremendous boost and will allow us to accelerate our product roll out. This year we’ll start fabricating Blue Star 10 – a 10 kW machine based around the Blue X design which will begin commercial trials in 2023. In parallel, we are developing our next-generation Blue Star 20, a 20 kW machine based on a new optimized geometry, which will include solar panels and a novel direct drive generator, with trials and rollout targeted for 2024-25.
“Both products are aimed at opportunities in the oil and gas energy transition, defence, offshore wind, and ocean science markets where they can be used to provide power to remote subsea equipment, robotics, and monitoring systems,” McNatt said.
Kerry Sharp, Director of Growth Investments at Scottish Enterprise, said: “Bold and ambitious low carbon technology companies like Mocean Energy are fundamental to Scotland’s just transition to a net-zero emission economy. Scottish Enterprise is pleased that our ongoing support to the team at Mocean is helping them to scale up and explore their international aspirations, and we hope this most recent investment will see Mocean move ever closer to fully commercialising their innovative wave power technology.”
Last year, a consortium comprising Mocean Energy, Verlume, Harbour Energy and Baker Hughes, with funding from NZTC, invested £1.6 million ($2.1 million) into a program to develop a wave power and energy storage system for subsea operations. This demonstrator project, called Renewables for Subsea Power, is showing how Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave machine can be coupled with underwater energy storage to provide cost-effective, low carbon power to subsea CCS injection equipment, oil and gas production equipment and autonomous underwater vehicles.
The partners plan to test the system at sea later this year.
The Blue X program has been made possible through £3.3 million ($4.4 million) from Wave Energy Scotland, which supported the development, construction and testing of the Blue X prototype at sea.