Mocean Energy raise €2.6m to drive commercialisation plans
Wave energy pioneer Mocean Energy has raised £2.2 million new equity alongside a £500,000 grant to drive the commercialisation 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, alongside new shareholders Norwegian impact investors Katapult Ocean and MOL PLUS, the corporate venture capital arm of listed Japanese shipping conglomerate MOL.
In addition, Mocean has secured a £499,500 Low Carbon Manufacturing Challenge Fund grant, targeted 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 administered by Scottish Enterprise and is part of Making Scotland’s Future, a partnership between the Scottish Government, public agencies, industry, and academia that aims to secure a strong, sustainable future for the country’s manufacturing businesses.
The new funds will help the Edinburgh and Aberdeen-based company commercialise and secure first orders for Blue Star which will be built in Scotland and is targeted 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 the manufacture and deployment of a grid-connected machine at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney as early as 2025.
“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,” says Mocean Energy managing director and co-founder Cameron McNatt.
“MOL has a global footprint in 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.
“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.
“I am extremely grateful to our existing shareholders who have invested again in this round, to Scottish Enterprise and to MOL PLUS and Katapult Ocean for joining us on this exciting journey,” McNatt concludes.
Anthony Bellafiore, Investment Manager for Katapult Ocean says: “Katapult Ocean is thrilled to be supporting Mocean as it prepares to bring its wave energy technology into the renewables market. Our investment is the culmination of nearly two years of research and diligence in the burgeoning field of wave energy, which took us across the spectrum of platforms and solutions being developed to capture the still largely untapped resource of wave power. With their robust and efficient wave energy converter, we feel Cameron and the rest of the Mocean team are poised to play an important role in pushing the world closer to its net zero targets, and we’re looking forward to helping them do so.”
Takuya Sakamoto, CEO of MOL PLUS says: “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. To support this, we have agreed a memorandum of understanding for business alliance between Mocean Energy, MOL HQ and MOL PLUS. We are looking forward to an exciting journey with Mocean Energy.”
Jane Martin, Managing Director of Innovation and Investment at Scottish Enterprise, says: “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. Combined, they have the potential to play an important role in the internationally competitive green energy industry that’s emerging right here in Scotland.”
Fraser Lusty, Director at Equity Gap says: “Equity Gap is delighted to continue to support Mocean Energy on its journey to commercialise its wave energy power generation technology. The theme of increasing and diversifying renewable power generation is an important one for our members and we are pleased with the impressive progress that the company has made since our initial investment in 2020.”
Andrea Young, Head of Investment, Old College Capital says: “Old College Capital is proud to continue investing in Mocean Energy, a company led by two co-founders who are both PhD graduates of the University of Edinburgh. Mocean Energy is already a pioneer in the wave energy market and we are excited to continue supporting the company as it accelerates towards commercialisation”
Mocean Energy is currently a key participant in the £2million 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 intelligent energy management specialists Verlume.
The two technologies are currently in the seas off Orkney where they are delivering low carbon power and communication to infrastructure including Baker Hughes’ subsea controls equipment and a resident underwater autonomous vehicle (AUV) provided by Transmark Subsea. The programme has been supported by industry partners alongside the Net Zero Technology Centre (NZTC).
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 collaboration with Wave Energy Scotland, the Basque Energy Agency and Ocean Energy Europe.
The Blue X prototype was built in Scotland with around 80 percent 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 Fabrication as its preferred fabrication, assembly and load-out contractor for its future wave energy convertors.
The deployment and demonstration of the Blue X at EMEC was funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES) and supported by Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.