Major boost for Scottish wave pioneer looking to decarbonise offshore energy sector
Mocean Energy has raised £2.2 million in new equity alongside a near-£500,000 grant to drive the commercialisation of its wave energy technologies. The Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund grant is aimed specifically at the detailed design, build and testing of key subsystems for the firm’s Blue Star wave energy machine, which will be built in Scotland and is targeted at decarbonising subsea operations in the offshore energy sector.
The equity funds come from existing investors including Equity Gap, Scottish Enterprise and Old College Capital, the University of Edinburgh’s venture investment fund, alongside new shareholders Norwegian impact investors Katapult Ocean and MOL Plus, the corporate venture capital arm of listed Japanese shipping conglomerate MOL.
The new funds will also drive further research and development into the wave firm’s large-scale Blue Horizon technology, which was recently awarded £3.2m by the EU-backed EuropeWave programme. Mocean, which has operations in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, plans to refine the Blue Horizon 250-kilowatt design ahead of the manufacture and deployment of a grid-connected machine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney as early as 2025.
Mocean Energy managing director and co-founder Cameron McNatt said: “This new equity investment is significant for Mocean Energy - not just in the quantum invested, but in the additional strengths and specialist expertise our new shareholders bring. MOL has a global footprint in the marine transport sector and MOL Plus will help us access MOL Group’s significant resources and expertise to accelerate our commercialisation.
“Katapult Ocean invests solely in technologies which will have a positive impact on our oceans, and the Mocean team will now be able to participate in Katapult Ocean’s award-winning accelerator programme to help drive our business growth. The grant funding is also vital and has been match funded through this new equity round. It will help us accelerate the commercial development of our Blue Star technology.”
He added: “The coming years will be crucial to Mocean Energy, and as we scale up we need to take on board all of the learnings from our current Renewables for Subsea Power project and draw on the experience of our partners and new investors.”
Takuya Sakamoto, chief executive of MOL Plus, said: “We believe that Mocean Energy has a great potential of growth in this market with a strong team of advanced initiatives and rapid implementation of their Blue Star project. We will keep up with the Blue Star and Blue Horizon projects and be proactive with collaborating with Mocean Energy and all partners.”
Jane Martin, managing director of innovation and investment at Scottish Enterprise, added: “This funding package is a great example of the public and private sectors working together to unlock investment in renewable energy. The projects it supports are crucially important. One can completely transform the way power is provided to remote, energy intensive subsea equipment, while the other addresses the need for reliable, low-cost renewable energy at scale.”
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