A Scottish marine energy start-up has secured £850,000 to develop an AI wave machine designed to bring power to the subsea oil and gas industry.
Edinburgh-based Mocean Energy raised £612,000 in equity seed funding and received £250,000 from Innovate UK to develop the Blue Star wave machine, which aims to deliver low-carbon energy for the subsea tiebacks and fleets of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).
A team of 12 will use numerical modelling coupled with AI-optimisation to design the innovation.
Cameron McNatt, managing director, Mocean Energy, said: “Blue Star has been created from first principles to operate autonomously in remote locations and deliver green energy for a range of applications, including scientific ocean monitoring, aquaculture, oil and gas, and delivering energy to remote communities.
“We are currently working with firms in the Scottish supply chain to build and deliver our first prototype, which will commence testing at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney next year.”
Furthermore, the funding from Innovate UK will be used to design a new power take-off, mooring and umbilical. It will also provide additional grant support to project partners Newcastle University’s Electrical Power Research Group and Rosyth-based electronics company Supply Design.
McNatt added: “The equity funding is a tremendous boost and underscores our ambition to deliver a commercial product.
“As well as supporting our technology development pathway, this will allow us to create two new full-time posts, which will bring an increased focus on finding the right kind of industry partners to drive our commercialisation goals.”
Earlier this year, Mocean Energy announced a pilot project to study the potential use of its Blue Star prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote under water vehicle.
The start-up had previously secured £3.3m from Wave Energy Scotland to build and test a half-scale version of its technology at sea. The device is currently being completed at AJS Fabrication in Cowenbeath, Fife.