E.on plans airborne wind tech site, partners with Ampyx

Visualisation of 2 MW system AP4. Source: Ampyx Power (www.ampyxpower.com)

April 11 (Renewables Now) - German renewables-focused utility E.on SE (ETR:EOAN) has deepened its involvement in airborne wind technology, announcing plans to develop a test site in Ireland and a tie-up with Netherlands-based Ampyx Power.   

In a boost to the fledgeling sector, E.on said today it will invest in the development of a demonstration site in County Mayo, Ireland. The first user of the planned site will be Ampyx Power, which is developing a 2-MW fixed-wing device, aimed at repowering the first generation offshore wind parks.

In a separate announcement, the Dutch firm said it will use the site for testing, verification and demonstration of continuous operation of its fully functional technology demonstrator, construction of which started last year, and its subsequent 2-MW airborne wind energy system.  

E.on, which in late 2016 invested in Scottish airborne wind energy start-up Kite Power Systems, said that the test site will allow it to work with the most promising technology developers in the field and support the commercialisation of the technology. "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, chief executive of E.on Climate & Renewables.

In addition to the partnership with E.on, Ampyx Power said it is launching a new crowdfunding campaign, seeking EUR 2.5 million (USD 2.7m) to fund work towards commercialisation of its technology. The firm has received over EUR 4 million from informal investors since its first crowdfunding campaign in 2013. In the next few weeks it will also receive investments of about EUR 2 million from existing shareholders.  

(EUR 1.0 = USD 1.061)  

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Plamena has been a UK-focused reporter for many years. As part of the Renewables Now team she is taking a keen interest in policy moves.

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