German energy company invests in novel wind power method

German energy company invests in novel wind power method

Germany energy firm E.ON (ETR:EOAN) has confirmed it has made an investment with Ampyx Power to test airborne wind energy, a new technology based around offshore tethered drones.

Ampyx, a Dutch wind energy technology firm, has developed a 2MW Airborne Wind Energy System (AWES), which will be tested by E.ON for the first time, following the investment agreement.

“This novel technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market as airborne wind devices are cheaper to manufacture and easier to maintain than conventional wind turbines,” said E.ON.

Airborne wind energy centres on an offshore drone attached to a generator via a line. The drone aircraft moves in a cross-wind figure-eight pattern at altitudes ranging from 200-450 metres.

This technology would consequently allow for much easier and cheaper deployment in deeper waters, compared with current wind turbine machinery.

Anja-Isabel Dotzenrath, CEO of E.ON’s climate and renewables division, said: “Airborne wind supports one of our overall targets to drive down cost for renewable energy.”

E.ON’s investment with Ampyx is the company’s second foray into the airborne wind energy sector, after it partnered with Scotland-based start-up Kite Power Systems in 2016.