A wave energy prototype has been unveiled in Fife ahead of sea trials next month.
Power specialists Mocean Energy revealed its Blue X machine at a ceremony at Forth Ports Rosyth.
Fife fabricator AJS Production built the 20-metre long, 38-tonne wave machine and Montrose-based Rybay painted it.
It will be deployed at the European Marine Energy Centre’s Scapa Flow test site for sea trials initially, then later deployed at EMEC’s large scale Billia Croo test site.
Next year, it will be connected to a subsea battery which will be used to power a remotely operated autonomous underwater vehicle.
Blue X will now undergo ballasting and wet testing at Rosyth before being transported to Orkney.
Credible wave technology
The manufacture and testing programme is supported by £3.3 million from Wave Energy Scotland (WES).
WES managing director Tim Hurst 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.”
Hopes for net zero impact
Other companies who supplied hardware and services for the project included Supply Design, based in Rosyth, and Blackfish Engineering Design.
Last month Mocean Energy announced a £1.6 million project with OGTC, oil major Chrysaor and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to demonstrate the potential of the Blue X prototype.
It will be used to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle using onshore testing at EC-OG’s Aberdeen facility.
Mocean Energy 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.
“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.
“We have a number of months in the summer to put the Blue X through sea trails and in parallel test the subsea equipment at EC-OG’s home base.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the backing of Wave Energy Scotland, OGTC and our industry partners in this programme.
“They bring an extraordinary amount of knowledge and experience which we can draw on to accelerate our technology development ambitions.”