Wave energy firm Mocean buoyed by opening base in Aberdeen

An Edinburgh wave energy start-up has laid anchor in Aberdeen with a new base to commercialise its “innovative” technology – as it looks to link up with oil and gas partners that can help take it to market.

Friday, 20th September 2019, 2:19 pm
From left: Chris Retzler (Mocean), David Millar (TechX) and Cameron McNatt (Mocean). Picture: Newsline Media.

Mocean Energy has already secured £100,000 from Scottish Enterprise for the technical development of Seabase, a small-scale wave energy converter it says will provide “reliable, affordable” renewable energy to power various subsea applications.

The firm also said it has netted the same amount from the Oil & Gas Technology Centre (OGTC) for its commercial development, and MD Cameron McNatt said: “Seabase is a wave energy machine small enough to fit in a shipping container – yet robust enough to generate power in the harsh environment of the North Sea.

“Initially we see it being used to provide back-up power to subsea equipment where, for example, an umbilical fails.”

He added that longer term, Seabase will provide green power to future generations of remotely operated underwater vehicles and autonomous underwater vehicles, cutting vessel costs and emissions.

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A prototype of Seabase has already undergone detailed tank testing at the “world-leading” facilities at Centrale Nantes, France, and the firm is now looking to branch out in the North-east.

“Aberdeen is a natural next step for us,” said McNatt.

“The oil and gas market has a clear ambition to decarbonise, and Aberdeen is a global hub for offshore engineering expertise. We are now in early discussion with partners who can help bring Seabase to market.”

The move is being supported by the OGTC’s TechX programme, which is providing office space in its incubation centre as part of TechX Plus.

Mocean Energy is one of a select group of firms that has benefited from the TechX accelerator programme, designed to help innovative start-ups reach commercial success.

David Millar, Technology Accelerator director, said: “This is what the TechX programme is all about – Mocean Energy have just completed our 16-week accelerator programme and it’s fantastic to see its progress in such a short period of time.

“Our industry is going through change, we’re reimagining the energy sector and creating a more sustainable future for the UK and it’s technology like Mocean’s Seabase that will help take us there.

“We’re excited to see where Mocean will accelerate their business to next and delighted to hear that the North-east of Scotland will be their base for making this happen.”

The TechX accelerator says it has been proven to accelerate early-stage start-ups by four to five years on their path to commercial success in the UK energy sector – and to help unlock the full potential of the UK continental shelf.

Mocean said last month that it had chosen tech developed by the University of ­Edinburgh to help power up its prototype.

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