March 2010: John McCarthy, CEO, Ocean Energy

Business Person of the Month | Fri 2 Apr | Author – Business & Finance
John McCarthy

The firm’s new deal with Dresser-Rand gives Ocean and Ireland an opportunity to become a leading exporter of global wave electricity.


Following the announcement this month that Irish company Ocean Energy completed an energy-development deal with multinational Dresser-Rand, the company has, again, proven its ability to be at the cutting edge of a new global market.

Ocean, an energy-development company specialising in wave technology, has been successfully testing a wave-energy converter for the last number of years, and the deal with the world’s leading turbine manufacturer Dresser- Rand will see the company expand its international opportunities.

At the centre of the company is CEO John McCarthy, who co-founded Ocean Energy seven years ago and has been one of the driving forces behind the strategic vision of the company.

The new partnership will give Ocean Energy and Ireland the opportunity to become a leading exporter of electricity and innovative new-wave technologies. The company potentially could produce enough energy with their wave converter to supply the annual electricity needs of 450,000 households, and employ 6,500 people full-time.

Major milestone

The agreement marks another major milestone in the development of wave power in Ireland. McCarthy says: “As testament to Dresser-Rand’s belief in the potential of the wave-energy sector and to the Ocean Energy buoy in particular, Dresser-Rand have a designated product-development team specifically tasked to develop air turbines for devices such as ours.

“The nature of our agreement is that Dresser-Rand have agreed to develop and supply turbines for our devices. We are the only company in the world Dresser-Rand have entered into a development-and-supply agreement with and we see this not only an endorsement of our technology but of the Irish Government’s development strategy for the industry.

” To have their support for Ocean Energy is a significant endorsement of our technology by a company with such pedigree.”

Combining technology

By combining their technologies and expertise, the two firms will provide energy solutions with the help of Dresser-Rand’s global network.

“Together we will be able to provide clients with a high level of confidence in the global wave-energy market which is estimated to be worth €200bn per annum. There will also be the added benefit of creating thousands of Irish jobs as well as providing much needed solutions to our energy and greenhouse-as problems,” said McCarthy.

Wave of success

Last year, the company secured €230,000 from Sustainable Energy Ireland. This followed successful completion of trials to test the company’s wave-power technology at an offshore site in Galway Bay. It brought to €700,000 the total amount of SEI funding secured by the firm over an eight-year period.


McCarthy has over 20 years of business experience in various enterprises in Ireland and internationally. As co-founder of Ocean Energy with current operations director Michael Whelan, McCarthy has provided strategic direction for the company over the last seven years of development and is now leading it towards the next phase of growth as the it nears commercialisation.

McCarthy’s career background is in accountancy, finance and development projects.

John McCarthy

  • Co-founded Ocean Energy seven years ago.
  • Major partnership agreed with multinational Dresser-Rand in February 2010.
  • McCarthy is CEO of Ocean Energy, and runs the company with operations director Michael Whelan and commercial director John Keating.

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