USA: Google Acquires Airborne Wind Turbine Developer
Makani Power recently announced that it is being acquired by Google.
The Makani Airborne Wind Turbine is a tethered wing that generates power by flying in large circles where the wind is stronger and more consistent. It eliminates 90% of the material used in conventional wind turbines, and can access winds both at higher altitudes and above deep waters offshore.
The company’s goal is the utility-scale deployment of airborne turbines in offshore wind farms.
This acquisition formalizes a long and productive relationship between the two companies, and will provide Makani with the resources to accelerate its work to make wind energy cost competitive with fossil fuels. The timing couldn’t be better, as the company completed the first ever autonomous all-modes flight with its Wing 7 prototype at the beginning of May.
The company published a message on the acquisition on its website, saying: “Makani could not have reached this point without the support of the US Department of Energy’s ARPA-E program and the hard work of our talented team, past and present. We look forward to working with our new colleagues at Google[x] to make airborne wind a cost-effective reality.”
Offshore WIND Staff, May 24, 2013; Image: Makani