This award of funding by WES is the culmination of a four-year long search for a commercially viable wave energy technology. A competitive selection process was used to narrow eight entrants down to the two winning firms, Edinburgh-based Mocean Energy and AWS Ocean Energy from Inverness. The two will use the Wave Energy Scotland funding to build half-scale machines and test them at the European Marine Energy Centre (EMEC) in Orkney.
It is anticipated this will lead to the technologies being developed at full-scale in the years ahead.
Mocean’s technology ‘Blue Horizon’ is a floating hinged structure and AWS has developed a fully submerged point absorber named the ‘Archimedes Waveswing’.
Wave Energy Scotland managing director Tim Hurst said: “These state-of-the art designs represent the most advanced, and innovative devices in the UK today, and our programme is ensuring that Scotland stays front and centre of the global wave energy story.
“Both devices have already proved their suitability during tank testing and in modelling and the next step is to test them in real-sea conditions. This funding will allow both companies to further develop their designs before building and testing the prototypes in Orkney in 2020, where marine engineering expertise is plentiful. The European Marine Energy Centre in Stromness will provide the specialist technical support needed to assess the devices’ performance.”
The winning designs were selected following assessment using Wave Energy Scotland’s ‘stage gate’ selection process, which assessed the most promising concepts before they proceeded to the next funding stage.
Over the course of four years eight original Wave Energy Converter (WEC) concepts were narrowed down to four. The two winning projects were then selected after an assessment procedure where Wave Energy Scotland staff and independent external experts worked through a wide set of criteria to evaluate each submission.
The Scottish Government established Wave Energy Scotland in 2014 with the goal of establishing a wave energy industry in Scotland and has since provided more than £30m to develop commercially available wave energy technologies and sub-systems.
Hurst said: “We have seen these projects develop from promising concepts into mature, well-developed technologies with excellent performance. Both projects will utilise sub-systems technology developed independently in the Wave Energy Scotland programme. This funding will support real-sea testing to establish the commercial viability of the technology.”
Contractors from other work strands in the overall WES programme have already begun collaborating with the WEC designers to achieve improved performance, as well as inform possible solutions in the areas of structural materials, control systems and power take-off.