UK firm Kite Power Solutions (KPS) has secured £5 million of new investment from E.On, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures.
Kite has developed an innovative wind power technology that is cheaper to manufacture and install than conventional offshore wind turbines and says that the investment will help to support the technical and commercial development of its design.
Paul Jones, Chief Financial Officer of KPS said: “The new investment from three major international businesses is an endorsement of the R&D work that the KPS team has carried out and demonstrates support for our technology and our business. The backing of these companies will accelerate KPS’s commercial development plans towards deploying lower cost, deep-water offshore wind energy on a global scale.”
KPS is planning to deploy a 500 kW onshore power system at West Freugh in southwest Scotland in 2017, followed by an onshore demonstration array of multiple 500 kW systems within the next 3-4 years.
It is eventually planning to develop a 3 MW onshore system at West Freugh and then deploy a similar sized power system in offshore waters. So far the firm has invested £3 million in technology development, with financial support from the UK government, Shell’s GameChanger programme and private investors.
KPS’ technology comprises kites attached to tethers. The kites can fly as high as 450 m and achieve flight speeds of up to 45 m/s in 9 m/s winds. The kite’s tether tension causes the line to spool rapidly out from a winch system in a drum, which turns a generator.
KPS believes that its technology can reduce the capex of conventional offshore turbines by as much as 50 per cent because it does not require large quantities of steel or specialist installation vessels.