In order to strengthen its position as an early adopter in airborne wind energy, E.ON announced that it is has committed to invest in the development, and if successful, construction and operation of a demonstration site in County Mayo in Ireland. In addition, a collaboration agreement was signed with Ampyx Power as the first user of the upcoming test site.
Ampyx Power will use the site to test and demonstrate the continuous operation of its 2 MW AWES demonstrator.
Wolbert Allaart, its Managing Director, explained: “This cooperation with E.ON, one of the leading energy companies in the world, is a major milestone for our company. It is fundamental for us as it allows us to incorporate E.ON’s vast offshore wind expertise into our product design efforts. The clear proof of market interest inspires our team of almost 50 engineers who are working on product development since 2014, after we have proven our concept in the initial five years of our existence.”
Airborne wind energy is an emerging sector developing game-changing technologies for renewable energy production. The technology harvests wind energy by using a fixed wing or sail comparable to kite-surfing in altitudes up to 450 meters. This novel technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market as airborne wind devices are cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain than conventional wind turbines.
This is the second agreement made by the European public utility in regards to the game-changing technology. Last year, E.ON invested in the Scotland-based airborne wind energy start-up company Kite Power Systems.
“Airborne wind supports one of our overall targets to drive down cost for renewable energy. In addition to making airborne wind competitive to conventional wind power, we would like to work with authorities and legislators to pave the way for introducing this exciting technology and eventually make it eligible to participate in tendering processes,” said Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO of E.ON Climate & Renewables.