E.ON develops a demonstration site for airborne wind technology in Ireland
Agreement with Dutch Ampyx Power to test 2 MW Airborne Wind Energy System
E.ON is strengthening its position as a frontrunner and early adopter in airborne wind energy, an emerging sector developing game changing technologies for renewable energy production. The company has committed to invest in the development, and if successful, construction and operation of a demonstration site in County Mayo in Ireland. In parallel, E.ON has entered into a collaboration agreement with Ampyx Power as the first user of the upcoming test site.
Developing a test site is an important stepping stone which enables E.ON to work closely with the most promising technology developers and to provide support for the commercialization of airborne wind technology. This landmark development opens up new possibilities for collaboration with a multitude of companies pioneering airborne wind power generation technology as well as being a platform working together with research and governmental institutes.
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.
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.
This press release may contain forward-looking statements based on current assumptions and forecasts made by E.ON Group management and other information currently available to E.ON. Various known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors could lead to material differences between the actual future results, financial situation, development or performance of the company and the estimates given here. E.ON SE does not intend, and does not assume any liability whatsoever, to update these forward-looking statements or to conform them to future events or developments.