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E.ON cooperates with Ampyx Power to commercialize the use of High Altitude Wind Energy

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

German utility E.ON today announced its cooperation with Ampyx Power, a Dutch developer of Airborne Wind Energy Systems, a technology that is using flying Wind Drones to produce wind power.

This cooperation involves millions in investments and is a major step towards the development of the first technology that can tap a new resource of clean and sustainable energy: high altitude winds. Making high-altitude winds economically accessible will be a game changer for the goal of 100% renewable energy supply.

Ampyx Power and E.ON have entered into a cooperation aiming at furthering Ampyx Power’s Airborne Wind Energy technology into commercial deployment. As part of the cooperation E.ON has committed to development and, if successful, construction and operation of a demonstration site for Airborne Wind Energy concepts in County Mayo, Ireland. The test site will be used by Ampyx Power for testing, verification and demonstration of continuous operation of Ampyx Power’s fully functional technology demonstrator, and its subsequent 2 MW Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES).

Ampyx Power’s 2 MW AWES will be tailored to repower the first generation offshore wind parks once the service life has come to an end. The testing at the E.ON test site is an important stepping stone towards subsequent offshore demonstration and eventually commercial deployment of Ampyx Power’s AWES and follow-up products. Ampyx Power is currently conducting a crowd financing campaign to finance the construction of the prototype that will be deployed at the E.ON test site in 2018.

E.ON is a frontrunner and early adopter in the Airborne Wind Energy field. Frank Meyer, SVP B2C Solution Management and Innovation at E.ON says: “E.ON has been looking into Airborne Wind technologies for five years and we believe it has true game changing potential. It supports one of our overall targets to drive down cost of renewable energy, and also allowing production of renewable energy at locations where it is currently not economical and technical feasible today. While in principle we are technology agnostic, we consider this cooperation with Ampyx Power a major step in our efforts to take a leading role in furthering the promising emerging Airborne Wind Energy sector.” According to information by the German newspaper Handelsblatt, E.ON invests millions into the cooperation with Ampyx.

Ampyx Power, founded in 2009, is one of the leading companies in the emerging Airborne Wind Energy sector. Wolbert Allaart, Managing Director of Ampyx Power: “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. This clear proof of market interest further inspires our team of almost 50 engineers who are working on product development and certification since 2014, after we have proven our concept in the initial five years of our existence.”

Udo Zillmann, Head of the European Airborne Wind Energy industry association HWN500 of which Ampyx Power is a member says: “The cooperation between E.ON and Ampyx Power shows that the energy market is now taking Airborne Wind Energy very seriously. This follows E.ON’s first step into Airborne Wind Energy in December 2016 when they invested into Kite Power Systems (KPS). It looks like E.ON wants to make a clear statement and to claim a large stake in this technology. While all major European utilities have been closely following Airborne Wind Energy in the past years, this double strike by one of Europe’s leading utilities will certainly act as a wake-up call for other utilities, energy companies but also producers of conventional wind turbines. It proves that the promises of Airborne Wind Energy – harvesting the much more powerful and consistent winds in higher altitudes of up to 500 meters with much lighter and eventually cheaper flying high-tech devices – are not only valid in theory but will be used to produce energy in large scale within a few years. The Airborne Wind Energy industry has left the proof of concept stage. Now it is beginning to build large scale products and does this with the full financial and technical support of some of the largest players in the energy world.

Airborne Wind Energy is also able to solve one of renewable energy’s biggest obstacles: its intermittency. This addresses the question of what happens when the wind does not blow and the sun does not shine. High altitude winds are not only stronger but also more consistent. Public research conducted by E.ON has shown that Airborne Wind Energy can increase wind energy production by 50% to 100% compared to wind turbines installed at the same site and with the same nameplate capacity. Airborne Wind Energy can produce energy the majority of the time with a capacity factor of 70%, a huge improvement over the 30% to 50% of wind turbines in the most favorable places.  

E.ON research from 2015: 

http://www.ewea.org/offshore2015/conference/allposters/PO090.pdf

Airborne Wind Energy was also included for the first time in the new Offshore Wind Technology report by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). IRENA writes: “Airborne wind is a potential game changer, with potential to reduce the cost of energy by up to half while at the same time opening up new markets.” http://www.irena.org/DocumentDownloads/Publications/IRENA_Innovation_Outlook_Offshore_Wind_2016.pdf

 

About E.ON

E.ON is an international investor owned energy company, focusing entirely on energy networks, customer solutions and renewables. In the 2016 financial year, more than 40,000 employees from 90 nations generated sales of around EUR 38 billion. Around 33 million customers purchase gas and electricity from E.ON. Within the global renewables segment E.ON is a leading company. The company has already invested more than 10 billion Euro and operates nearly 5.4 gigawatts of renewable capacity. E.ON is headquartered in Essen, Germany.

 

About Ampyx Power

Ampyx Power develops fixed wing Airborne Wind Energy Systems for deployment in utility scale wind parks. Its initial 2 MW commercial product will be tailored to repower the first generation offshore wind parks which were constructed in the early 2000’s. Ampyx Power is a frontrunner in the emerging airborne wind energy industry, through its clear focus on system safety and reliability. Ampyx Power has held approvals from airspace authorities to operate its prototypes since 2010, and plays a key role in the development of the regulatory framework and certification standards for airborne wind energy systems. Ampyx Power has been funded with support from the European Commission, Horizon 2020 SME Instrument (grant no. 666793 - AMPYXAP3)

 

About HWN500

HWN500 is the industry network of the European Airborne Wind Energy industry with more than 25 members comprising of leading companies, universities and research organizations. Of the globally existing 20 airborne wind energy companies, the 9 leading European ones are members of HWN500, as are various suppliers of the industry. HWN500 seeks to promote and establish the airborne wind energy industry within Europe via the setting of technical guidelines for the industry as well as with lobbying for the use of the powerful and consistent high-altitude winds.

 

About Airborne Wind Energy:

A general introduction to Airborne Wind Energy and its advantages can be found here: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/producing-energy-drones-udo-zillmann

For further information:

High-Altitude Wind Network HWN500, Udo Zillmann, Head of HWN500, udo.zillmann@hwn500.de, +49-173-7141203 

 

TEDxTUHH - Let the fossils rest in peace

An overview over status and concepts of AWE systems was recently presented at TEDx at University of Technology Hamburg. The video is now online.

Update on Kitemill´s market entry in the magazine Renewables International

The professional magazine Renewables International reports about the current developments at Kitemill and the Market entry plans. You can find the article online (only German) here.

Guest post on BWK energy magazine

In September edition of the German BWK energy magazine, Guido Lütsch divulged economic and technological assessments from our AWE survey. Please click here to read the article (in German).

Guest post on Springer professional

In a recent guest post at Springer professional, Guido Lütsch gave an update on status, achievements and outlook of Airborne Wind Energy. Results of the survey we conducted amongst AWE stakeholders earlier this year are revealed here. Please click here to read the article (in German).

Archive

1st Airborne Wind Energy Forum at WindEnergy Hamburg

During the 1-day AWE program at the WindEnergy Hamburg we heared interesting presentations and discussions with key players of the industry. The event enabled a special opportunity to give interested fair visitors, journalists, investors and professionals of the whole value chain a thorough first-hand insight about what is airborne wind energy (AWE), concepts, status of the technology, as well as place and potential in the energy sector.

The topics included

  • Technology overview
  • Status and opportunities to join
  • Pitches of 4 European developing AWE companies and startups
  • Energy transition and renewable
  • Expert discussions on legal framework, O&M friendly design and fault tolerant controls

For further details on speakers and topics of the Forum, please click here.

Hannover Messe booth

Hannover Messe 2016

From September 27 – 30, 2016, the world´s leading wind fair WindEnergy Hamburg took place with over 34,000 visitors and 1,400 exhibitioners. We are very content with the event and noted again an increase in interest and awareness of AWE technology. The visitors have largely been familiar with the concept of AWE and showed strong curiosity in the latest developments. In addition, there was high interest in  co-operations, investments and purchase of commercial products.

Hannover Messe booth

Hannover Messe 2016

From April 25 – 29, 2016, the world´s leading industrial trade fair Hannover Messe took place with over 190,000 visitors and 5,200 exhibitioners. The participants of the airborne wind energy network HWN500 presented themselves with exposals and info sheets. The booth was rounded with the 4m² wing of the 10 kW demonstrator of Enerkíte (see picture).

It became evident that intrest from both, professional visitors and potential customers, increased significantly. This is also due to the visible advancements amongst the network participants in the last months.

EWEA 2015 booth

EWEA 2015, Paris

From November 17 – 20, 2015 the fair and conference of the European Wind Energy Association took place in Paris. The network HWN500 presentet itself with different exhibition materials of the network members. One highlight was the wing of Kitemill´s first 5 kW Prototype (see picture, background).

Network manager S. Wilhelm presented the results of a study on Life Cycle Assessment of airborne wind energy (energy demand and CO2-cause per kWh generated). 

HWN500 booth on AWEC15

Airborne Wind Energy Conference (AWEC) 2015, Delft

The 7th AWEC was held at Delft University of Technology in The Netherlands from 15-16 June 2015. Over 200 participants from all over the world exchanged about achievments, future projects and technical details. Besides the presentationof the network in the foyer, HWN500 network participants could contribute to the conference with 10 of the over 50 presentations on stage.

For more information please visit the conference website.

Guido Lütsch talked about HWN500 - Shouldering R&D in co-operations. The video of the talk is available online.

System test Enerkite

Permanent testing, beginning of Dec. 2014

HWN500-participant Enerkíte tested its AWE system EK30 in the beginning of December 2014. The test run took 4 days and displays clearly the success of the highly innovative and sustainabke concept for electricity generation. The automated traction kite operated up to 17 hrs without interruption and could defy strong wind speeds of 32 km/h. During the extensive flight duration the Enerkíte facility was able to generate between 15 and 25 kW electricity and thus guides the way to an efficient and low cost electricity generation.

Stall

Windenergietagen Brandenburg

Wind Energy Days Brandenburg took place November 11&12, 2014. On the wind energy fair Brandenburg, the network was presented to the public for the first time. Many new contacts and potential partners were found.