Wave power firm Mocean Energy has strengthened its board ahead of plans to commercialise its Blue Star wave machine and raise further investment.
The Edinburgh-headquartered tech developer has appointed Torger Skillingstad as its chairman, while clean tech investor Lynne Ross will also join the company’s board.
Both appointees are existing investors in the firm, and Ms Ross Lynne will also represent Equity Gap, the firm’s main investor, on the board.
Former oil and gas executive, Mr Skillingstad has a long track record as a CEO and non-exec in the energy industry and brings leadership skills along with technical, commercial, and fundraising experience.
Ms Ross brings significant experience in early-stage business growth as an investor, chair and non-exec, and was formerly head of climate change policy at SSE. She has expertise in the economic and policy drivers to integrate renewable and conventional generation sources within the energy system.
Equity Gap helped the company raise £730,000 of equity funding from backers in March, together with Old College Capital, Edinburgh University’s in-house venture investment fund and Scottish Enterprise.
With new funding and leadership, Mocean said it would be looking to advance its Blue Star wave machine and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas.
The firm also opened an Aberdeen office last October to meet growing interest from oil and gas producers keen to decarbonise North Sea assets.
It is now working on a collaborative project to demonstrate how wave energy can be coupled with subsea energy management and storage to deliver reliable, renewable power and communication systems for a range of sectors.
The programme, known as Renewables for Subsea Power, is being funded by the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC), and matched by financial and in-kind contributions from partners including Harbour Energy, Serica Energy, Baker Hughes, Transmark Subsea and Verlume.
Current plans would see the entire system tested at sea next year.
Completion of that project will support the launch of Mocean’s Blue Star 10, a 10kW rated wave energy converter based around the Blue X design. A prototype of this model has already been successfully trialled in Orkney last year.
At the larger end of the scale, the company secured EU funding to help commercialise its 250kW generator, which could help reliable grid power to remote and island communities.
Mocean secured contracts for phase 1 of the €20 million EuropeWave R&D scheme, which will ultimately see three prototype technologies undergo testing in real sea conditions at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney and the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) in Spain in 2025.
Commenting on the new additions to the company’s board, managing director Cameron McNatt said: “Torger and Lynne are joining our board at a very exciting time. Mocean Energy’s technology roadmap aligns well with many energy companies’ net zero transition plans and we are carrying out desk-based projects now leading to offshore deployment of our Blue Star technology in 2024 to reduce the carbon footprint of our customers. To deliver our ambitions, we need to scale.
“Torger and Lynne have been long-time believers in Mocean. Both bring immense experience in supporting technology pioneers on their growth journey, and I am confident they will help us bring impact and corporate investors on board as we work towards growth and delivering our vision.”