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Mocean Energy secures cash to accelerate development of Blue Star wave machine

© Supplied by Mocean/ Colin KeldieMocean Energy Blue Star
Mocean Energy Blue X in operation at at EMEC Scapa Flow wave energy test site. EMEC Orkney.

Scottish wave power firm Mocean Energy has secured major new investment to accelerate the commercial rollout of its flagship technology.

The company has raised £730,000 of equity funding from existing backers – led by angel syndicate Equity Gap – together with Old College Capital, Edinburgh University’s in-house venture investment fund and Scottish Enterprise.

The cash will enable Mocean to advance the design of its Blue Star wave machine and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas.

Last year the Edinburgh-headquartered company successfully trialled its Blue X prototype at the European Wave Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

Work is currently ongoing with partners to advance a demonstrator project, dubbed Renewables for Subsea Power, to show how the technology can be coupled with underwater energy storage.

If successful it could pave the way for providing green energy to subsea equipment and autonomous underwater vehicles.

Mocean plans to test the pioneering system at sea this year.

wave energy industry panel © Supplied by Mocean Energy
Cameron McNatt, Mocean Energy’s founder and managing director.

Cameron McNatt, Mocean’s managing director, said: “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 trails in 2023.

“In parallel we are developing our next-generation Blue Star 20, a 20 kW machine based on a new optimised 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.”

In recent times Mocean has experienced increasing interest from the oil and gas sector as companies look to decarbonise their operations.

In response it opened a dedicated office in Aberdeen to meet customer demand, whilst the firm’s headcount has grown to 17.

The new funds follow an £862,000 seed raise which completed in 2020, comprising £612,000 equity funding plus a £250,000 grant from UK Government agency Innovate UK.

wave energy machine orkney © Supplied by Mocean
The innovative prototype began its test phase in mid-June and, since then, has completed 154 days at sea.

Fraser Lusty, a director at Equity Gap, said: “We are delighted to continue our support of Cameron and the team at Mocean and have been hugely impressed with the progress through the testing phase. This investment affords the company huge opportunity to accelerate their growth and provide further impetus to the adoption of their market leading wave technology. This has been a first-class example of multi stakeholder partnership and funding.”

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.”

Andrea Young, fund manager at Old College Capital, said: “Company founders Chris and Cameron are both PhD graduates of the University of Edinburgh, and we’re delighted they’re making such a powerful contribution to the green energy agenda that is important to the University. We’re constantly impressed by Mocean Energy’s management team as they progress towards full commercial operations, and we’re proud to be investing again in this technology.”

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