The world’s first commercial-scale, offshore kite farm is set to be built near Stranraer in Scotland as the country’s newest source of power. It’s a kite power station!
It will have 40-meter wide kites that will fly to a height of up to 450 m in a figure-of-eight pattern, which pulls a tether as they rise. This turns a turbine that converts it into electricity. Two kites will work in tandem, so there will be twice as much electricity produced in just one position.
Kite Power Station (Source: David Ainsworth)
The people behind this power station believe that the system could cut the price of offshore wind energy in half. Moreover, it will not need any government subsidy, unlike in conventional power generation models both in renewable and fossil fuel which require such.
Kite Power Systems is in-charge of the Stranraer project, which already had a pilot launch in Essex with a small kite-driven power station. They now plan to take it to a 500-kilowatt system at the Ministry of Defence’s West Freugh Range near the southern Scottish town.
Kite Power Station (Source: Kite Power Systems)
This will be the first major application of such technology in the UK, but only second in the world after Italy did it on a research project.
Bill Gates, famed as the co-founder of Microsoft, supports and invests in green technology. He believes there is a 10 per cent chance that kite power is the “magic solution” to the world’s energy problems.