E.on, Schlumberger, Shell invest in UK wind tech developer

Source: Kite Power Solutions Ltd. License: All Rights Reserved.

December 13 (SeeNews) - UK's Kite Power Systems (KPS) today announced a GBP-5-million (USD 6.3m/EUR 6m) investment from E.on (ETR:EOAN), Schlumberger (NYSE:SLB) and Shell Technology Ventures (STV) that will aid the technical and commercial development of its high-altitude wind power generation technology.

KPS' power system has two kites with a tether attached to a winch system that generates electricity as it spools out. The company says the technology has the potential to cut the capex of conventional offshore turbines by up to 50%.

The funding will support KPS' plans to deploy a 500-kW onshore system at West Freugh, a former airbase in southwestern Scotland, in 2017 as a first step towards a demonstration array of multiple 500-kW systems within the next three to four years. The company then plans to develop a 3-MW onshore system at West Freugh and deploy a similar-sized power system offshore.

"The backing of these companies will accelerate KPS’s commercial development plans towards deploying lower cost, deep-water offshore wind energy on a global scale," said KPS chief financial officer Paul Jones.

Set up in 2011, KPS has so far invested more than GBP 3 million in technology development, with financial support from the UK government, Shell's GameChanger programme and private investors.  

"We have closely followed KPS’s progress over the years and consider that its disruptive wind technology is on the right trajectory towards commercialisation," commented Geert van de Wouw, managing director of STV, the corporate venturing arm of Royal Dutch Shell Plc (AMS:RDSA).

Oil and gas services company Schlumberger, meanwhile, has been attracted to KPS by the potential for the technology to deployed in locations such as offshore oil platforms, remote onshore drilling operations and decommissioned offshore wind turbine towers.    

(GBP 1.0 = USD 1.263/EUR 1.191)  

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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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