Mocean Energy raises funds for Blue Star Wave

Wave energy company Mocean Energy has raised £2.2 million in new equity capital alongside a £500,000 grant to drive the commercialization of its wave energy technologies.

The equity funds come from existing investors including Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise and Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture investment fund, along with new shareholders Norwegian impact investors Katapult Ocean and MOL PLUS, the company’s venture capital arm of listed Japanese shipping conglomerate MOL.

In addition, Mocean has secured a £499,500 Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund grant aimed specifically at the detailed design, build and testing of key subsystems for their small scale Blue Star wave energy machine.

The low carbon fund is managed by Scottish Enterprise and is part of Making Scotland’s Future, a partnership between the Scottish Government, public agencies, industry and academia, which aims to secure a strong, sustainable future for the country’s manufacturing businesses.

The new funding will help the Edinburgh and Aberdeen-based company to commercialize and secure the first orders for Blue Star which will be built in Scotland and is aimed at decarbonising subsea operations in the offshore energy sector.

It will also drive further research and development into their large scale Blue Horizon technology, which was recently awarded £3.2 million by the EU-backed EuropeWave programme. Mocean plans to refine the Blue Horizon 250kW design ahead of manufacturing and deploying a grid-connected machine at the European Marine Energy Center (EMEC) in Orkney as early as 2025.

“This new equity investment is significant for Mocean Energy – not only in the amount invested, but in the additional strengths and specialist expertise our new shareholders bring,” says Mocean Energy CEO and co-founder Cameron McNatt.

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“MOL has a global footprint in the maritime transport sector and MOL PLUS will help us access MOL Group’s significant resources and expertise to accelerate our commercialisation.

“Katapult Ocean invests exclusively in technologies that will have a positive impact on our ocean, and the Mocean team will now be able to participate in Katapult Ocean’s award-winning accelerator program to help drive our business growth.

“The grant funding is also critical and has been match-funded through this new equity round. It will help us accelerate the commercial development of our Blue Star technology.

“The coming years will be crucial for Mocean Energy and as we scale up we need to take all the lessons learned from our current Renewables for Subsea Power project on board and draw on the lessons learned from our partners and new investors.

“I am extremely grateful to our existing shareholders who have reinvested in this round, to Scottish Enterprise and to MOL PLUS and Katapult Ocean for joining us on this exciting journey,” concludes McNatt.

Mocean Energy is currently a key participant in the £2m Renewables for Subsea Power (RSP) programme, which has connected Mocean’s 10kW Blue X wave energy prototype with a Halo underwater battery system developed by Aberdeen’s intelligent energy management specialists Verlume.

The two technologies are currently in the seas off Orkney, providing low-carbon power and communications to infrastructure including Baker Hughes’ subsea control equipment and a resident underwater autonomous vehicle (AUV) supplied by Transmark Subsea. The program has been supported by industry partners along with the Net Zero Technology Center (NZTC).

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Mocean Energy has also been awarded £3.2 million (€3,749,405) in phase 3 of EuropeWave, a pre-commercial procurement programme, funded through the EU and managed in partnership with Wave Energy Scotland, the Basque Energy Agency and Ocean Energy Europe.

The Blue X prototype was built in Scotland with around 80 per cent local supply chain content and it is expected that the Blue Horizon will deliver similar levels of local labour. In March, Mocean Energy selected Aberdeen-based TEXO Engineering and Fabrication as its preferred fabrication, assembly and load-out contractor for its future wave energy converters.

The deployment and demonstration of Blue X at EMEC was funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and supported by Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.

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