Kitemill advances further with the authorities and regulations. Kitemill is set to become the first company that introduces a commercial plant.
This is scheduled to happen in 2016, at Lista Fly and Industrial Park. Kitemill and their first customer have ongoing negotiations of 5 units. These will supply a variety of local businesses with energy, which is cheap, renewable and part of the green shift the world strive after.
Kitemill has progressed furthest in getting permission to install permanent fixed plants, thanks to a very solution oriented - Norwegian aviation authorities, air traffic services and dedicated site owners. Kitemill looks to introduce commercial facilities somewhat earlier than its competitors, because operating experience will be given priority higher than others, and launching facilities in somewhat smaller scale.
- We do not see it as an advantage to be first, neither to be the only commercial operator in Norway. We are therefore active in the international environment by inviting competitors to our test facilities at Lista, Norway, to cooperate on establishing industry standards and norms for this technology, says CEO of Kitemill, Thomas Hårklau. http://www.hwn500.de/ is one of several partners of interest.
The background for Kitemill's technology is complex, yet simple:
The higher, the better
The principle is that wind resources from 200 meters to 1500 meters above grounds generally have far better energy density than wind below 200 meters, where traditional wind turbines operate. Wind over 200 meters is more stable geographically and local variations disappear. This means that new large spaces can be used for profitable wind power generation. This gives the community an access to significant amounts of new renewable resources.
More efficient and much less expensive than traditional windmills
The device is based on a flying kite, pulling a tether from a generator on the ground. Only 10% of the materials are needed, compared to conventional wind turbines. This provides a cost advantage. In combination with access to more stable and higher wind, kitemills can produce wind energy for less than 50% of the cost of an average traditional wind turbine. The concept is proven and commercial applications are under development.
Kite-parks as demonstration facilities
The plan for the introduction of technology implies first and foremost to establish demonstration farms in cooperation with the Norwegian funding agencies. These kite parks will be marketplaces where customers can buy kite turbines or shares of kite turbines. This offer will be marketed towards Norwegian investors and energy companies.
Learn from Danish success
In Denmark, 200,000 Danish individuals today are owners of wind power capacity. This group started the Danish wind power market. Private investors can lift up the next generation of energy technology, and this can happen in Norway.
Crawl, walk, then run
During early introduction phase, Kitemill focused on building operating experience and a solid track record. It is cheaper to accumulate hours of operation on a small scale. Therefore Kitemill will scale up frequently but in small steps, so that relevant operating experience is taken further with each new model.
Kitemill estimates to produce energy below 1.5 NOK / kWh in 30kW scale, in 2017, which is the lower limit of what costly offshore wind energy costs.
in 2018 Kitemill expects to produce at below 1.0 NOK / kWh in 100 kW scale which is where large-scale solar power is.
After the walk and crawl phase is over, the time is ripe to run fast:
This will typically happen in a 500 kW scale. Here, Kitemill could produce at below 45 cents / kWh which is around procuction cost at the full-scale traditional wind turbines located on locations with good wind resources.
- It is possible for us to commercialize this technology with current Norwegian technology-neutral support schemes, provided there is a willingness to use them, says managing director of Kitemill, Thomas Hårklau.
Milestone in 2020
- ENOVA may help to support the first applications for each version. A park can be such an application. Small scale new technology cannot operate without subsidies in the Norwegian energy market. Support is needed until the plants to be launched is scaled to about 0.5 MW in 2020, when we expect to touch on energy costs for conventional wind turbines. . We also expect to offer higher energy density per area by the year 2030. As we also believe that this technology may have a significant effect on the global energy mix, says Hårklau.
Profitable for society, compared to solar and offshore wind
Kitemill hopes that the Petroleum and Energy department in Norway approves Kitemill's plans, and work to ensure this technology to be introduced in the Norwegian market. Kitemill also wish that it can be possible for Norwegian investors, either private persons or professionals, to invest in future energy-production technologies.
There is a huge potential to use a larger volume of airspace for energy production. The same effect is obtained by going offshore, with the only difference of the cost of installations offshore being significantly higher.