Fife firm set to make a splash with pioneering new wave energy project

Pioneering new wave technology, which could revolutionise the way in which we capture energy from the sea, is being created in Fife.

For work has begun on a 30-tonne state-of-the-art wave machine which will take to the seas this Autumn.

Cowdenbeath-based fabricators AJS Production Ltd are forging ahead with the creation of the 20-metre long Blue Star wave energy converter which has been designed by Edinburgh start-up Mocean Energy. And once completed the half-scale device is set to be deployed in Orkney this Autumn to undergo a series of sea trials and is expected to be generating its first power by the end of the year.
Commenting on the groundbreaking new green energy project, Mocean Energy managing director Cameron McNatt said: “The UK oil and gas sector is exploring ways to decarbonise their operations and this technology has a range of uses in powering subsea technology. “Our Blue Star design has undergone rigorous numerical modelling and tank testing at the world leading wave tank at Nantes and it is very exciting to see it taking shape in steel in advance of sea trials. “AJS Production has a great track record in offshore fabrication and it is terrific to see work progressing so well.”

If taken advantage of to its fullest extent, sunlight beamed on the earth for 1 hour could meet world’s energy demands for an entire year!

Following completion, the machine will undergo quayside ballasting and wet testing at Burntisland harbour prior to being transported by land to Aberdeen and then ferry to Orkney.

And already, the firm has had serious interest in the potential of the new technology.

Last month Mocean Energy announced a pilot project to go ahead with oil major Chrysaor and subsea specialists EC-OG and Modus to study the potential to use the Blue Star prototype to power a subsea battery and a remote underwater vehicle at the Orkney site.
Raymond Imrie, managing director of AJS Production Ltd said it was great to be involved in such a project which represented the latest milestone in Scotland being at the forefront in leading the UK to become carbon neutral.

He added: “The project is well underway and although we have been involved in similar contracts, we are still learning lessons when it comes to working on prototypes of this scale.

“We have had the backing of a good lead team, along with a professional design team, who have certainly made the project run smoothly.

There may be more than 90,000 MW overall of untapped water potential in the United States; through new hydropower technologies, such as advanced turbines, and new applications, such as tidal, wave, ocean currents, and in-stream hydrokinetic approaches, the industry could double its output over the next 20 years.

“We’re looking forward to seeing the device launched successfully and sea trials beginning in the Autumn.”