A SCOTTISH clean energy company has generated the first power during tests of a prototype wave machine.

Mocean Energy said the wider prospect of generating clean energy from waves moved a step as the Blue X wave energy prototype is being trialled at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.

The 20-metre long, 38-tonne wave machine has been towed from Kirkwall to EMEC’s Scapa Flow test site where it has been successfully moored and commissioned for initial sea trials.

Later this summer the Blue X will be moved to EMEC’s grid connected wave test site at Billia Croo on the west coast of Orkney, where it will go through further trials in more rigorous full sea conditions.

HeraldScotland: Herald Newsletter daily banner

Cameron McNatt, Edinburgh-based Mocean Energy's managing director, described the milestone as “a very exciting moment”.

“Following successful installation on Friday, Blue X generated its first power and continued to generate power, charging batteries, throughout the weekend,” said Mr McNatt. “In the Scapa testing phase, we will test power production, comparing results against our numerical predictions, and we will test operations including towing, installation, removal, and access at sea. The device is standalone and operated wirelessly. A 4G connection allows us to send commands and download data from shore.

HeraldScotland: Jon Clarke, Mocean Energy at EMEC Scapa Flow wave energy test site. Picture: Colin Keldie.Jon Clarke, Mocean Energy at EMEC Scapa Flow wave energy test site. Picture: Colin Keldie.

"We believe our technology is ideally suited to a number of offshore operations, where it can make a direct contribution to net zero goals.

"Longer-term, we think grid-scale machines will be able to tap into deep ocean waves to generate significant quantities of clean energy," Mr McNatt also said.

READ MORE: Mocean unleashes wave power prototype

Next year, the wave pioneers plan to connect the device to a subsea battery which will be used to power a remotely operated autonomous underwater vehicle (AUV) – with potential applications offshore.

The deployment and demonstration of the Blue X at EMEC is being funded by Wave Energy Scotland and supported by Interreg North-West Europe’s Ocean DEMO project.

Michael Matheson, Scottish Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy and Transport said: “The deployment of Mocean Energy’s Blue X device is a proud moment for Scotland and a significant milestone in wave energy’s journey towards commercialisation.”

The Blue X manufacture and testing programme is being supported by £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland (WES) through their Novel Wave Energy Converter programme.

The Blue X wave machine was fabricated in Scotland by Fife fabricator AJS Production and painted by Montrose-based Rybay Corrosion services.