RWE to set up test site for airborne wind energy tech in Ireland
Ampyx aircraft device. Image by RWE
RWE AG (ETR:RWE) has secured planning permission to build an airborne wind energy test facility in County Mayo, Ireland, the German energy group said on Tuesday.
The company is partnering on the initiative with airborne wind energy technology developer Ampyx Power of the Netherlands.
Construction of the site infrastructure is set to start later in 2021. The facility will first demonstrate a 150-kW system that is comprised of a ground-based winch generator, a launch and land platform and an aircraft-shaped device. A larger commercial-scale 1-MW system is expected to be tested at a later stage.
“After 12 years of hard work and multiple generations of smaller prototypes, we are excited to start operating our technology demonstrator on a 150 kW scale in Ireland in a real operational environment,” commented Ampyx Power chief executive Fabrizio Nastri.
“The launch of an airborne wind testing site in Ireland is an early move for RWE into a new technology to generate green electricity,” said Katja Wuenschel of RWE Renewables.
The test centre is backed by the EU Interreg North-West Europe funding programme. It will also test airborne wind energy systems of other technology developers during its eight-year operational lifetime.
Plans about the test site in Ireland and the tie-up with Ampyx Power were announced in 2017 by E.on SE (ETR:EOAN), before the latter’s asset swap deal with RWE.