By Kristy Dorsey

Renewables start-up Mocean Energy is set to send its prototype Blue X wave power machine out to sea next month as it works towards its goal of delivering low-carbon power for future fleets of autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs).

The 38-tonne machine, fabricated wholly in Scotland by AJS Production of Fife, was unveiled at a ceremony at Forth Ports’ Rosyth Docks by Tim Hurst, managing director of Wave Energy Scotland (WES). WES supported the manufacture and testing of Blue X with £3.3 million though its Novel Wave Energy Converter programme.

Founded in Edinburgh in 2015, Mocean is developing wave energy converters for markets such as the oil and gas and utility sectors. AUVs are used for the inspection, repair and maintenance of subsea equipment, but are currently powered by offshore gas turbines which generate emissions.

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The Blue X will initially be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s (EMEC) Scapa Flow test site for sea trials before then moving on to the EMEC’s large-scale Billia Croo test site this summer. The aim is to next year connect the wave power machine to a subsea battery that will be used to power a remotely-operated AUV.

Mocean 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.”

The launch of Blue X follows a six-figure investment deal in November of last year, with Mocean raising £612,000 from angel and university investment funds. That unlocked a further £250,000 from Innovate UK.