Today’s entry from Greenbang’s special report on UK Clean Tech Start-up businesses is about Orecon Ltd, just one of the many companies found in the report.
- Founder/Chief Executive: David Crisp
- Founding date: 2001
- Number of employees: 10
- Turnover: N/A
- Website: www.orecon.com
- Investment: VC funding: $24 million in Feb 08
For the past six years Orecon has been developing the next generation offshore wave energy converter, known as Orecon MRC (multi-resonant chambers), to take advantage of all that lovely energy that the sea throws out every day.
According to the company, this next generation product is significantly more efficient and most importantly reliable than other options. The buoy has no moving parts underwater, it is designed to stay in place for 25 years, and could deliver 1.5MW generating capacity to onshore grids among other things.
The Greenbang Barometer
The company’s mooring system has been designed with an artificial reef, which is expected to boost the marine fish population. There are no chemicals or hydraulic oils and no emissions – good news for the ocean. The onsite maintenance approach reduces the need for heavy maintenance schedules and costly support vessels, so cuts downs on disturbance to the local environment as well as CO2 emissions.
Orecon’s work also coincides with the government’s decision to fund an energy-generating wave hub off the Cornwall coast in the next couple of years – if the company finds a place on the project, it’ll be a major boost. Until recently, Orecon’s founders were struggling through lack of investment. With venture capital now in place as well as funding from the Technology Strategy Board, it is moving ahead rapidly to the manufacture of the first 1.5MW unit next year.