Location : USA (California)
Beginning of the project : 2006
Leaders of the project : Fort Felker, CEO
Sector : Energy
Partners : Alphabet, Shell
DESCRIPTION OF THE PROJECT
Makani is developing energy kites that use a wing tethered to a base station mounted on a floating platform to generate electricity at utility-scale. Makani will be building a 10 MW commercial demonstration project in 2022.
LEADERS OF THE PROJECT
Dr. Fort Felker, Chief Executive Officer, was Formerly Director of the US National Wind Technology Center and Lead scientist at NASA, he brings 30+ years of aero-mechanical expertise to Makani. Dr. Felker holds a BS in Aero/Astro from MIT, MS and earned his PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Stanford University.
The project will be funded by equity provided by Makani shareholders, outside investors and public funding.
- Total Cost : 50M EUR
- Energy Capacity: 10 MW
Makani will bring low cost floating wind power to the Mediterranean. Makani’s low cost results from the low mass per megawatt of Makani’s system which in turn results in a reduced CAPEX requirement. Makani’s lightweight system enables low-cost widespread deployment. Conventional floating offshore wind systems require large deep water ports for staging and deployment as well as the use of specialized, floating cranes which are in limited supply globally. Makani’s energy kite system has no such port requirements and can be deployed using commonly available vessels.
The project will have economic benefits in the region in which it will be developed and installed. Specifically, Makani will create economic activity in project development, manufacturing and assembly, offshore installation and operations, as well as maintenance of the systems once installed. As Makani’s system is commercialized, this region may become a global hub for worldwide kite deployments.
The Mediterranean Sea has all the characteristics necessary for the development of floating wind technologies with its excellent wind field and ocean depths which require floating systems. There are many possible locations for Makani’s commercial demonstration in the Mediterranean.
Makani’s 600kW prototype has operated onshore in California and Hawaii since 2016. Makani’s first offshore flight from a floating platform took place in Norway in 2019. Makani is building a pilot project in Norway to be operable in 2020 and is in the planning phase of a commercial demonstration in the Mediterranean to begin operations in 2022.