NEWS: E.ON Invests in Drone-Based Airborne Wind Energy

ampyx-power-taking-powerplanes-offshoreAmpyx 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 has started construction of its fully functional demonstrator in 2016. In order to finance activities towards commercialisation of its technology, Ampyx Power aspires to enlarge its current base of informal investors with a new crowdfunding campaign targeting investments of € 2.5 million.

Since Ampyx Power’s first crowdfunding campaign in 2013, about 400 informal investors have invested over € 4 million. The company further announces that it has raised € 2 million new equity from its existing shareholder base, which provides a solid financial foundation for the new crowdfunding campaign. These investments will be completed in the next few weeks.

Ampyx

The investment in a test site and the associated collaboration with Ampyx Power marks E.ON’s second major commitment in the airborne wind energy domain. In 2016, 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.

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.”

The Netherlands-based Ampyx Power, founded in 2009, is one of the leading companies in the emerging airborne wind energy sector.

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 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. Additionally, they are easier deployed in deeper waters surrounding countries such as Portugal, Japan and the United States. Of course, airborne wind energy can also be deployed onshore.

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.

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.

Source: Press Release

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