University of Cumbria project supports SMEs research into innovative wave-power paddle

Residents of Maryport woke up to discover a new addition to their shoreline this weekend.

A new four-metre-high device, built and installed by local company MPM North West Ltd, is being tested to assess its capabilities of generating electricity using wave power.

The C-Cell is a revolutionary curved paddle which has the capacity to double the energy which can currently be captured from ocean waves. This marks a significant step forward in cost-effectively extracting energy from waves, which has eluded engineers for centuries.

The project has received funding from the Renewable Energy Test and Education Centre (RETEC), an initiative to support research into innovative, low carbon energy technologies, hosted by the University of Cumbria. RETEC has been funded with £150,000 received from Britain’s Energy Coast in partnership with the Nuclear Decommissioning Authority.

John Berry from the University of Cumbria is overseeing the project and explains:

“Renewable energy from wave power is a real opportunity and it is great to have a company who are so proficient in marine environments to build this innovative device, which is capable of not only harnessing the power of the sea, but also has the strength to stand up to the elements.”

If the test results for the prototype are encouraging then MPM North West could go on to build more devices for installation around the UK, with the design and manufacture taking place at their premises in Maryport.

“Lots of research is currently taking place into developing new, environmentally efficient ways of creating energy security for the world,” continues John. “To see Cumbria at the forefront of manufacturing cutting-edge technology such as the C-Cell is further evidence that we are leading the way in innovation, to the benefit of local communities.”

As a result of the funding, MPM have expanded their workforce and created five new jobs, providing employment for the local population.

The device is expected to be on site for around a year whilst trials are conducted.

To find out more information about the project, click here.