It is with great enthusiasm that we announce the start of a new phase in the collaboration between Kitepower and the Dutch Ministry of Defence (MoD): The Kitepower Falcon 100kW AWES is being deployed in the Dutch Defence’s training area near Vader Piet on the island of Aruba, with the goal to test the system in an operational environment as part of the military exercise Caribbean Engineer 2021.
This is a groundbreaking milestone for Kitepower and the whole AWE industry, namely:
- This is the very first Kitepower operation to be carried outside of the European continent
- This is the very first Airborne Wind Energy system to be operated in the Caribbean
The vessel carrying Kitepower’s Falcon 100kW AWES has shipped from the port of Eemshaven at the beginning of September and arrived on the island of Aruba a couple of weeks later. Delivering the Kitepower Falcon overseas represented a great opportunity to put to the test the system’s logistics and once more prove its huge transportation and installation advantages. The entire trip went smoothly, two standard trucks, one for the Kitepower system and one for the Greener battery, were all we needed to reach the deployment site on land. Whereas transporting conventional wind turbines is no mean feat – with all the overweight and over-dimensional freight-related issues – the transportation of the Kitepower Falcon 100kW AWES validated the system’s strategical potential when it comes to reaching rural and remote areas via ordinary and even narrow roads.
The deployment of Kitepower’s AWE technology is taking place near the 30MW Vader Piet Wind Farm, NuCapital‘s first involvement on the island dated 2009, led by wind energy expert and Kitepower’s mentor & investor Henk Hutting (1952 – 2021).
“Henk has been a strong supporter of Kitepower and I am incredibly grateful that part of our common dream – bringing Kitepower to the Caribbeans – becomes reality. It is especially satisfying that we are flying in front of a wind farm that was developed by him and I hope he will be watching from his star” adds Kitepower’s Founder CEO, Johannes Peschel.
The project shows how MoD’s strategic foresight activities, which take climate change into consideration, have recently been stepped up throughout applicable regional cases. Kitepower is proud to be supporting the Dutch Ministry of Defence with innovative energy solutions in operational situations.
Kitepower & The Dutch Ministry of Defence – Background
It was November 2016 when the relationship between the Dutch Ministry of Defence and Kitepower first started. Back then, Kitepower had just won the Innovation Competition themed “Energy for Military Operations” aimed to foster the development of a 100kW Airborne Wind Energy System capable to support the ministry’s decarbonization commitment (Operationele Energiestrategie, OES-2015). Find out more.
Following up on the Innovation competition, in early 2018, Kitepower successfully performed a training session for the Dutch Defence in order to introduce the Falcon 100kW system and its operation. This was the first time that an external crew operated a Kitepower AWES. Find out more.
After the Innovation Competition, in 2019 Kitepower received a second valuable collaboration agreement with the Dutch Defence focused on reporting the benefits of deploying Kitepower throughout Defence’s field operations, named: “Kitepower System for the New Defence Technology Program” and this is what ultimately led to the project taking place in 2021 on the Dutch Caribbean Island of Aruba. The collaboration agreement had developed within the framework of the National Technology Project (NTP), a program that stimulates the development of prototypes and demonstration of defence-specific applications.
The Dutch Defence aims to reduce dependence on fossil fuels across its worldwide campaigns. Kitepower’s innovative wind energy technology offers an environmentally friendly solution for deployments in remote locations, where logistical supply lines cannot be guaranteed, by reducing diesel consumption and increasing energy independence.
Lieutenant Colonel Paul van der Heul affirms “Kitepower is one of the interesting possibilities of energy supply. We see the application as Defence in the operational and civil domain, it has social added value. This is one of the reasons for Defence to participate in this project. This offers opportunities, especially in remote and windy areas such as islands”.
Airborne Wind Energy on Islands
Airborne wind energy systems work extremely well on islands due to high coastal winds ensuring strong steady power generation. Islands offer fundamental challenges for any energy supply, as the cost of running a power line or even supplying fuel to local generators are often several times what the same would cost on the mainland. For this reason, energy tends to be supplied by generators running on diesel imported at very high costs. Kitepower offers an excellent solution to reducing the fuel consumption, cost and environmental footprint of these generators.
Kitepower can be integrated into microgrids allowing to unlock the potential of airborne wind energy When integrating Kitepower in combination with batteries, diesel generators can be switched off completely. Hybridizing with Kitepower results in less diesel consumption for more clean energy, culminating in considerable financial savings even for areas that do not experience consistent high wind speeds.
Johannes Peschel, Founder CEO of Kitepower, says: “A dream finally came true: A milestone that I have envisioned since the incorporation of Kitepower five years ago. We have finally shipped and flown a Kitepower system on a Caribbean Island. It is rewarding to see one of our kites flying next to Henk’s wind farm (Vader Piet in Aruba) and I believe it is truly remarkable to be able to witness what Kitepower has accomplished in the course of the last years. I would like to thank Henk, the department of Defense, all supporters and especially the Kitepower team for the blood, sweat and tears that have been put into the system and look forward to many more Kitepower operations in Europe and overseas!”