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Wave energy developer Orecon hits stormy waters

Wave energy developer Orecon, based in the South West of England, has hit stormy waters and is looking for investors or a new owner.

CEO David Crisp says: “I thought that after years of struggling for funding we had weathered the worst that the financial markets could throw at us. I was wrong. Earlier this year our venture capital funders withdrew their support, ironically since then we have won through to the final round of the £22 million MRPF [Marine Renewables Proving Fund] grant scheme (worth up to £6m), Carbon Trust Ventures have given their support to match fund third party investors and our UK and US patents have been granted [for Orecon’s MCR wave energy device].

“We now find ourselves in urgent need of new investment. Whilst we recognise the difficult economic times it is vital that industry now steps up its involvement, there is a huge commercial opportunity here for someone willing to step in now. We have the design, the site, full government support and a crack team, but time is short. Without investment we will have to close the doors at the end of January.”

Orecon’s Multi Resonant Chamber (MRC) 1.5 MW wave energy device uses Oscillating Water Column (OWC) principles and is showing potential as a commercial scale device that is both simple and able to provide high yields and reliability, Orecon says.

Orecon has signed an agreement to supply Portuguese developer Eneolica with three MRC wave energy units which comes into effect once the first device has been deployed.

Orecon has also secured a berth at the South West RDA’s Wave Hub facility enabling installation of the first MRC in 2011.

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Wave and tidal energy