Kitepower in Aruba

Airborne Wind Energy Takes Off in The Caribbeans with Kitepower

Published on:
August 26th, 2021
Last modified on September 13th, 2021 at 12:27
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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 will be 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 will be the very first Airborne Wind Energy system to be operated in the Caribbeans
Kitepower Falcon 100kW harvesting electricity in Melissant, Goeree-Overflakkee (NL) – May 2021

The vessel carrying Kitepower’s Falcon 100kW AWES will ship from the port of Eemshaven in the coming week and is expected to arrive on the island of Aruba around mid-September. The deployment of Kitepower’s AWE technology will take 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.

Transportation of Kitepower’s containerised (20ft) 100kW ground station and Greener battery module
Kitepower containerised (20ft) 100kW AWES’ shipment at the port of Eemshaven
Fagelgracht, the cargo ship that will transport the Kitepower Falcon to Aruba – Image courtesy: spliethoff.com

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.

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.

Drone shot of the Kitepower AWES being operated at Dutch Defence’s training camp in Marnewaard (NL) – February 2018

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.


This page will be kept up to date with relevant news about the ongoing project in Aruba.

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