The South West wave energy company Orecon has caught the eye of the US Embassy with its hi-tech plans to capture renewable energy from the sea.
Orecon’s Chief Executive David Crisp was among industry leaders invited to a meeting in Bristol to brief Seth Patch, Environment, Science and Technology Officer at the US Embassy in London.
Mr Patch has a watching brief to monitor new technologies that could benefit the United States and was keen to learn more about progress being made by the South West company.
David Crisp said: “Seth Patch was very interested in what we had to tell him and appears determined that the US should not miss out on the new, renewable technologies we are developing here in Britain.”
“He was also extremely keen to know how we are going about producing and training the specialist people required to work within the industry around the world and was impressed to hear about the Renewable Energy courses being offered at the CUC, Combined Universities in Cornwall.”
From Orecon’s point of view, the meeting could prove an important opportunity with Mr Patch ideally placed to introduce the company to some of the world’s largest potential corporate partners.
David Crisp added: “Getting a major global offshore operator on board for construction of the buoys is one of our key objectives and many of those large corporations are based in the United States. Given that the US is committed to reducing its’ dependency on non-US energy supplies, we very much hope our talks with Mr Patch will prove fruitful for both of us in the months and years to come.”
Orecon will deploy its first 40 metre buoy here in the UK in 2010. Designed to address problems experienced by earlier wave power devices, the buoys are the result of six years of development work. Each will have a rated capacity of 1.5MW, that’s enough to power around a thousand homes.
Orecon has patented technology for a Multi Resonant Chamber device to overcome difficulties experienced by other wave energy projects in the past. Based in the South West of England, the device is the result of six years development work together with more than 20 years of coastal and offshore experience. Orecon is committed to preserving the environment and it’s buoys pose no risk to marine life.
A syndicate of international Venture Capitalists including Advent Ventures, Venrock, Wellington Partners and Northzone Ventures have this year invested a total of £12 million in Orecon. The investment will enable Orecon to build and deploy its first full-scale device before moving on to the commercial rollout of its technology.