Mocean Energy has secured over £3 million in EU funding to develop and deploy a 250 kW wave machine in Orkney, Scotland.

The large-scale wave energy device – named Blue Horizon 250 – will be manufactured in Scotland and deployed in a grid-connected berth at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney by 2025. It is hoped that the project could then pave the way to a small wave farm delivering 1-2 MWe by 2030.

The Edinburgh firm has been awarded £3.2 million in Phase 3 of EuropeWave, a pre-commercial procurement programme, funded through the EU and managed in collaboration with Wave Energy Scotland, the Basque Energy Agency and Ocean Energy Europe. Mocean Energy is one of three wave companies to have been awarded funds in Phase 3. Each of them has successfully passed through competitive stage gates in Phases 1 and 2 of the programme.

The other successful companies are IDOM Consulting and CETO Wave Energy Ireland, which will install their devices at the Biscay Marine Energy Platform (BiMEP) in northern Spain.

“This is a major milestone for Mocean Energy,” commented company co-founder and managing director Cameron McNatt. “We have already demonstrated our technology successfully at small scale and this programme will allow us to build a significantly larger machine based on our proven hinged raft design, and incorporate our novel direct drive generator.”

“Looking further ahead, our goal is to deliver a small array in UK waters this decade, and I am confident that with appropriate innovation funding in place we can realise our ambition to build commercial wave energy arrays and generate home-grown green energy from our seas, both in the UK and around the world,” McNatt says.

Blue Horizon 250 is intended to be a significant scale up from the company’s existing Blue X concept and is designed for commercial applications on islands and remote communities, while also including early grid projects and off-grid applications, such as oil and gas and aquaculture.

The Blue X prototype was built in Scotland with around 80 % local supply chain content, and it is anticipated Blue Horizon will deliver similar levels of local work. In March Mocean Energy selected Aberdeen based TEXO Engineering and Fabricaton as its preferred fabrication, assembly and load-out contractor for its future wave energy convertors.

Neil Kermode, EMEC’s md, said: “Mocean Energy first came to Orkney in June 2021 with the testing of their Blue X prototype on our scale test site in Scapa Flow for a five month test campaign gaining initial operational experience in real-sea conditions.”

Phase 3 will involve the detail design, a full-scale build, and 12 months at-sea testing of a first-of-a-kind wave energy converter at EMEC. Focus areas will include building a novel power take-off system at full-scale – combining a Vernier Hybrid Machine (VHM) with an associated linkage mechanism to boost energy yield/mass: exporting power to the grid – ensuring grid compatibility and compliance: and meeting targets for power performance, availability, reliability, and survivability in particular.

To complete the full-scale 250 kW Blue Horizon programme, Mocean will bring in private funding as required.

Image: Mocean Blue Horizon 1 array