Wind energy of the future: Research project on the use of high-altitude wind

Project partners SkySails Power, EnBW, EWE OSS and Leibniz University Hannover develop and test pilot system „SkyPower100“


As a joint project partnership SkySails Power GmbH, EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG, EWE Offshore Service & Solutions GmbH and Leibniz University Hannover are developing and testing a fully automated airborne wind energy system.

Flying systems such as e.g. kites can harness renewable power in higher air layers where higher energy and more stable wind speeds prevail. High-altitude wind technology could thus become a pioneering supplement to conventional wind energy use. The objective of the research project "SkyPower100", which is funded by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), is to develop and test a fully automated airborne wind energy system with a nominal output of 100 kilowatts by 2020. The system is intended to work autonomously and start, land and stow the kite by itself. It shall prove these skills for several months. During this pilot operation, the consortium intends to gain insights into the scaling of high-altitude wind power technology into the megawatt class on shore. On top of that, it wants to further improve the efficiency and reliability of the technology for future offshore use.

SkySails Power GmbH coordinates the project and contributes the know-how and operational experience in the field of automated kite systems. It is responsible for the development, production, installation and testing of the pilot system. EWE Offshore Service & Solution GmbH is responsible for the site search, project planning, approval, development, foundation as well as for the grid connection of the demonstrator. The Karlsruhe-based energy company EnBW Energie Baden-Württemberg AG is investigating the potential for high-altitude wind in the target markets and the respective approval situation in the project. The Institute of Propulsion Systems and Power Electronics of the Leibniz University Hannover is responsible for the design and the investigation of the powertrain.