Firm unveils 38-tonne wave machine to be trialled in Orkney

Left to right: Cameron McNatt, Managing Director of Mocean Energy and Tim Hurst, managing director of Wave Energy Scotland in front of Mocean Energy’s Blue X wave energy converter at Forth Ports’ Rosyth Docks

WAVE power specialist Mocean Energy has unveiled its new Blue X wave energy prototype which will take to the seas in Orkney next month (May).

The 20-metre long, 38-tonne wave machine has been fabricated wholly in Scotland and will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Scapa Flow test site for sea trials, before being deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s large scale Billia Croo test site this summer.

Next year, the developers plan to connect the device to a subsea battery in 2022 which will be used to power a remotely operated autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV).

The machine was unveiled at a ceremony at Forth Port’s Rosyth Docks by WES managing director, Tim Hurst, who 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.

“Against the backdrop of Covid 19 restrictions Mocean Energy and their subcontractors have completed build of the prototype. The focus is now on commissioning and the learning to be gained from the open water test campaign.

“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 managing director, Cameron McNatt, added, “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.”

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