Wave firm Mocean Energy lands £730k new funding to accelerate commercialisation
01 March 2022
Wave power specialists Mocean Energy have secured major new investment to accelerate the commercial roll-out of their ground-breaking wave energy technology.
The Edinburgh firm has raised £730,000 equity funding from existing funders, led by angel syndicate Equity Gap, together with Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s in-house venture investment fund, and Scottish Enterprise.
The new funds will enable Mocean to advance the design of their next-generation Blue Star wave machine and drive its adoption in subsea oil and gas.
Last year the Scots firm successfully trialled their Blue X prototype at sea at the European Wave Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney, and is currently collaborating with partners to advance a demonstrator project, called Renewables for Subsea Power, to show how their technology can be coupled with underwater energy storage to provide reliable low carbon power to subsea equipment and autonomous underwater vehicles.
They now plan to test this system at sea this year.
Commenting on the new funds, Mocean Energy Managing Director Cameron McNatt says: "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,” McNatt says.
The company has seen increasing interest from the oil and gas sector and has opened a dedicated office in Aberdeen to meet customer demand, whilst the firm’s staff complement 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 Innovate UK, the UK Government’s innovation agency.
Commenting on the raise Fraser Lusty, Director, 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.”
Last year a consortium comprising Mocean Energy, Verlume, Harbour Energy and Baker Hughes with funding from NZTC invested £1.6 million into a programme 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 cost-effectively and reliably provide 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 programme has been made possible through £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland which supported the development, construction and testing of the Blue X prototype at sea.