Offshore wind technology company, Ocergy, received Series A funding from Moreld, an industrial company, and Chevron Technology Ventures (CTV), a subsidiary of Chevron Corporation. Ocergy develops energy, farming, monitoring, and cleaning solutions for the ocean, and offers consulting services. The funding will go toward Ocergy’s OCG-Wind Floating Offshore Wind Turbine (FOWT) technology and the OCG-Data environmental monitoring buoy.
OCG-Wind is a low-cost foundation that supports newer classes of large offshore wind turbines. According to Ocergy, the hull reduces the platform’s weight, ultimately lowering the levelized cost of energy (LCOE). The platform is tailored toward ease of industrialization, increasing the use of a local supply chain in the project fabrication life cycle and to make the fabrication process more flexible.
OCG-Data is a multidisciplinary ocean observer for complete offshore site assessment. It has enough footprint to host and power multiple instrumentation packages for resource and environmental characterization. According to Ocergy, underwater biodiversity monitoring relies on the combination of restoration technologies and passive acoustic monitoring arrays. The buoy also hosts a bird and bat detection and identification system. OCG-Data provides ecological information data for stakeholder engagement.
Chevron’s First Offshore Wind Investment
In the United States, giants ExxonMobil (Exxon) and Chevron both reported catastrophic 2020 losses of US$22.4 billion and US$5.5 billion, respectively. Compared to their smaller European peers, both companies have made relatively minor investments in renewable energy, choosing instead to maximize operational efficiency and maintain their large dividends. Exxon paid a staggering US$14.87 billion in dividends last year. Chevron paid US$9.7 billion.
Chevron’s investment in Ocergy validates offshore wind energy’s potential for US oil majors. “We are delighted about this partnership as it will allow Ocergy to advance and commercialize its innovative technologies,” said Dominique Roddier, CEO of Ocergy. “We are excited to have gained Chevron’s investment and look forward to potential opportunities for their guidance and expertise executing some of the most complex offshore projects in the world.”
Chevron Technology Ventures’ Future Energy Fund
Subsidiaries like CTV could play an increasing role in how Chevron views renewable energy. Although new to offshore wind, CTV has a 22-year history of investing in startups across a wide cross section of energy innovation. The Ocergy investment is made from CTV’s Future Energy Fund which identifies technology solutions needed for the energy transition — including, industrial decarbonization, emerging mobility, and energy decentralization. “Offshore wind power is undergoing a period of rapid innovation in an effort to provide lower carbon energy at a substantial scale,” said Barbara Burger, vice president, innovation and president of technology ventures at Chevron. “Ocergy has developed technology that could be part of the solution to enable more affordable, reliable, and ever-cleaner energy in a marine environment.”
Moreld Group Develops MOW
Going into the deal with Ocergy, The Moreld Group was already a well-established player in the offshore floating wind space through marine services and production solutions. However, it is looking to increase its role in offshore wind through the development of MOW, a company focused on the delivery of engineering, procurement, construction, and installation (EPCI) contracts in the floating offshore wind industry. “MOW will be the spearhead of our combined knowledge within the Moreld group of companies,” said MOW’s new CEO, Kristian Ravn. “MOW will bring project execution and technical expertise to fully integrated and dedicated EPCI project teams to execute swiftly and flawlessly on our EPCI contracts. Supported by our parent and fellow subsidiary companies, MOW will be able to work with developers to ensure projects are delivered on schedule and on budget.”
Next Steps For Ocergy
The Series A funding round gives Ocergy a better chance to compete for gigawatt-scale commercial projects. The Cooperation Agreement signed between Ocergy and MOW provides a platform for executing commercial-scale projects for Ocergy’s OCG-Wind solution worldwide. This partnership integrates promising low-cost FOWT technologies with the necessary EPCI leadership to develop a fully industrialized FOWT supply chain in all regions of the globe. “Closing this investment in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic demonstrates the importance for our industry in bringing innovative solutions to further lower the floating offshore wind LCOE while focusing on local supply chain and industrialization requirements”, concluded Roddier.