Founded in a farm barn in Perth, ocean energy company Bombora Wave Power has developed a “membrane style” wave energy converter it has trademarked as mWave. The company claims its technology addresses both the high levelised cost of ocean energy and the ‘ocean wave survivability’ issues which have prevented the generation method from getting off the ground.
Japanese shipping giant Mitsui O.S.K. Lines seems to agree, pledging $6.74 million (£3.54 million) to the company. The investment follows 18 months of close collaboration between the parties and will be used to further the operational capability and commercialisation the mWave energy generation technology.
This will include the completion of Bombora’s 1.5 MW mWave validation project due to be installed off the Welsh coast in Pembrokeshire in the coming months, supported by $25.5 million (£13.4 million) in funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) via the Welsh government.
It will also, the company says, increase the reach of Bombora’s InSPIRE platform where its mWave technology is integrated onto floating wind platforms. The company is working with global engineering, procurement, construction and installation (EPCI) contractor TechnipFMC to develop demonstrations, the first of which involves 4MW of mWave technology integrated with 10MW of wind.
According to Bombora, wave energy conversion can offer continuous power generation which is more predictable than both wind and solar. Moreover, its output increases in winter when solar’s decreases. The company also says the technologies have minimal environmental impact.
The fact that these technologies must live in salt water has, however, proven a problem. Coupled with high costs, a perpetual deterrent from new technologies, it has meant wave conversion has hardly become popular.
The Perth-company is moving to defy that. “The [Mitsui O.S.K. Lines] investment underpins Bombora’s wider capital raising initiatives to propel the company through the next phase and for delivery on commercial projects,” Bombora’s Managing Director, Sam Leighton, said.
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