Kitemill-team at its offices at Lista Airport, October 2015. Lodewijk Carnel, Sindre Devik, Jo Grini, Sture Smidt, Thomas Hårklau og Christer Svenkerud. Photo: Jørn Lekve, Kitemill.
Kitemill will develop a new generation of wind power
Kitemill develops technology that will produce renewable energy in a safe and low-cost manner. The company produces energy from kites high up in the air.
At those heights, the winds are much stronger and more stable then at the altitude of traditional big windmills. Furthermore, those large windmills are very visible in the landscape. Kitemill its kites are hard to see when they convert energy from the sky at several hundreds of meter altitude.
The kites are flying a helix pattern while it’s pulling off a tether from the winch at the ground system. This generates electrical power. After that the kite can be reeled back in towards the ground system with a much faster speed than it was reeled out with. This is Airborne Wind Energy. This energy can be produced at a reduced cost compared to other renewables. By lining up the forces in a smarter way, plants are less material intencive than conventional technology. This reduces the constrains of operation heights as well as reducing all costs related to large heavy machinery. Furthermore this source of energy doesn’t leave a big human footprint in the landscape as less material are less visible and easier to install without wide roads.
Approval from Aviation Authorities
The development of Kitemill its technical solution has come a long way. The development of this new technology happens at its local premises at Lista Airport in the South of Norway. There the company got approval from the Aviation Authorities, with support from Avinor and the Norwegian Defense. In October 2015 Kitemill confirmed its record of maximum autonomous production time and produced power.
First customer agreement
Kitemill is on the correct development path, such that they are ready to produce energy in 2017 for its first customer. This is Helge Mikalsen in Vollan Holding AS. He owns a number of companies and can be best characterized as a serial entrepreneur. He knows the energy sector inside out and he believes in the plans to launch a kiteturbine model that will be a mixture between a demonstration unit and a commercial unit. He has a desire to order five similar units. The goal for these at Lista is to produce 75 000 kWh per year from each of the five units. In the first phase they will produce power to 22 activities in the area, which all together employ over 100 people.
Want to revamp the wind energy industry
We want to be part of this revolution of the wind energy industry. We are one of many companies working to develop this type of energy based on kites at high altitudes. The results from our units at Lista are a big breakthrough for us. This demonstrates that we are well on track, even when there are of course some technical challenges ahead of us. The results from our work until now, demonstrates clearly that we follow our development plan towards parks with kite turbines. It is also an important milestone for us to get such a clear message from our first commercial customer, says the general manager in Kitemill Thomas Hårklau. Kitemill was established in 2008. They have their main office in Voss and their regional offices and workshop in Lista.