Airborne Wind Energy Takes Off in The Caribbean with Kitepower
Kitepower's mobile Airborne Wind Energy System is the very first AWES to be operated in the Caribbean. The deployment of the innovative wind energy system has been part of "Caribbean Engineer 2021", a military exercise of the Dutch Defence in Aruba.
Kitepower, co-founded in 2016 by CEO Johannes Peschel and TU Delft associate professor Roland Schmehl, is a spin-off from the TU Delft's AWE research group. The company has developed its 100kW AWES with a 'Fast Track to Innovation' grant1 from the European Union's Horizon 2020 framework programme, guided by a mentoring partnership with tech incubator YES!Delft and with support from late wind energy expert and angel investor2 Henk Hutting (1952-2021). Kitepower's AWES generates electricity by means of a kite flying crosswind manoeuvres that pulls on a tether attached to the drum placed within a 100kW ground station. The electricity generation works in two phases3, which, repeated in continuous cycles, results in positive net energy output. The energy generated by the system while reeling out (1st phase) is greater than the energy consumed to reel the kite back in (2nd phase).
Johannes Peschel, Founder CEO of Kitepower, says: "A dream finally came true: A milestone that I have envisioned since the incorporation of Kitepower five years ago. We have finally shipped and flown a Kitepower system on a Caribbean Island. It is rewarding to see one of our kites flying next to Henk's wind farm (Vader Piet in Aruba) and I believe it is truly remarkable to be able to witness what Kitepower has accomplished in the course of the last years. I would like to thank Henk, the department of Defense, all supporters and especially the Kitepower team for the blood, sweat and tears that have been put into the system and look forward to many more Kitepower operations in Europe and overseas!"
Lieutenant Colonel Paul van der Heul affirms "Kitepower is one of the interesting possibilities of energy supply. We see the application as Defence in the operational and civil domain, it has social added value. This is one of the reasons for Defence to participate in this project. This offers opportunities, especially in remote and windy areas such as islands".
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