Mocean Energy unveils Blue X wave energy converter

Mocean Energy today unveiled Blue X, the company’s wave energy converter prototype which is set for sea trials following final checks at Rosyth.

wave energy converter
Mocean Energy's Blue X wave energy converter at Forth Port's Rosyth Docks (Image: Mocean Energy)

Built in Scotland, the 20m long, 38 tonne wave machine will be installed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Scapa Flow test site before being deployed at EMEC’s large scale Billia Croo test site this summer.

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The manufacture and testing programme is supported by £3.3m from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) through its Novel Wave Energy Converter programme. In a statement, WES managing director Tim Hurst said: “This is a significant milestone for Mocean Energy and for WES. The product of five years of the WES programme and three phases of development for the Mocean technology that has seen the Blue X progress from concept, through wave tank testing and now to a scaled, real sea demonstrator.

“This demonstration of credible wave technology comes at a time when there is a real prospect of a market support mechanism for marine energy, that taken together, will enable wave energy to make a significant contribution to the future Scottish and UK low carbon energy mix needed to meet our net zero obligations.”

Mocean Energy said Blue X will now undergo ballasting and wet testing at Rosyth before being transported to Orkney.

Commenting on the project Mocean Energy managing director Cameron McNatt said: “As we drive toward net zero, we will need many forms of renewable energy and wave energy can make a significant contribution.

“Our test programme in Orkney will allow us to prove our concept at sea, particularly that its novel hull shapes will produce more power than traditional raft designs. This enables the development of commercial scale technologies suited to the oil and gas and other industries.”

Last month Mocean Energy announced a £1.6m project with OGTC, oil major Chrysaor (now Harbour Energy) and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to demonstrate the potential of the Blue X prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle – using onshore testing at EC-OG’s Aberdeen facility.

“We have a number of months in the summer to put the Blue X through sea trails, and in parallel test the subsea equipment at EC-OG’s home base,” McNatt said. “Next year we intend to ship the battery and AUV to Orkney and pair them up with Blue X at sea.