Munich, Germany, October 6, 2023: Flying wind turbine developer Kitekraft, today announces and celebrates the milestone of connecting its demonstrator to the public grid. This is the first of its kind, flying-generation, airborne wind energy system, that gets connected to the public grid globally. It is a key step towards commercialization of this new type of wind turbine. Kitekraft’s wind turbine needs 90% less material and thus comes with a much lower visual impact and lower costs compared to traditional wind turbines. The approval for the grid connection in Oberhaching near Munich was granted by the local grid operator Bayernwerk Netz GmbH.
The grid connection significantly increases the capabilities with further flight tests scheduled over the coming months, to improve the fully-autonomous flight control and efficiency, and to further validate the technology. All generated electricity from those test flights will be sold to the municipal utility company Gemeindewerke Oberhaching. All partners attended the opening event on site in Oberhaching today with mayor Stefan Schelle congratulating Kitekraft and all its partners for the successful collaboration.
Florian Bauer, Co-CEO and CTO of Kitekraft said: “To get our test site grid connected is a great step for Kitekraft. The generated energy, even from our prototypes, will be purchased by a local customer, making it the first time in Germany, energy from an airborne wind energy system will get paid for. Alongside the technical development, we are simultaneously working on several regulatory topics, form airspace to grid compliance, as well as interfacing with our customers to build a product that works for them. This milestone shows our progress on all these fronts.”
Thomas Agroh, Head of Taufkirchen Customer Center at Bayernwerk said: “Bayernwerk supports the feed-in from more renewable energy technologies, including innovative ones like Agri-PV. Now, we have approved the very first airborne wind energy system, after Kitekraft showed compliance with applicable laws and regulation. We are continuing our support for innovative technologies such as Kitekraft’s to further progress the “Energiewende” to a carbon free energy supply, while maintaining low-cost and reliable grid operations.”
Sascha Bucklitsch, CEO of Gemeindewerke Oberhaching, said: “Our goal is to provide the entire municipality of Oberhaching with 100% green energy and we are actively looking for renewable energy generation. Today we are celebrating the connection of the first, albeit relatively small flying wind turbine demonstrator. We are eager to offtake any generated kilowatt-hour and will continue our support to integrate further prototypes and bigger commercial kites from Kitekraft in future.”
First of its kind technology connected to public grid globally.
At the start, the approved grid connection capacity is 30kW and the expected amount of energy generated will be limited, due to the currently small size of the demonstrator. With further progress and upscaling in the next year, the operation will gain in efficiency and energy yield. The first commercial product of Kitekraft will be a 100kW kite for farmers, municipalities, islands, and microgrids that will be upscaled to 500kW and subsequently to multi-MW systems for utility scale electricity production.
Kitekraft would also like to thank further partners and supporters for the successful collaboration towards establishing this grid connection. Those include: Siemens AG, Bayern Hertz Elektrotechnik GmbH, the municipality of Oberhaching and its mayor Stefan Schelle, as well as local farmers.
Kitekraft builds flying wind turbines, a new type of wind turbine that is a combination of a drone and kite. This enables wind power with material reduction of 90%, making it half the cost of conventional wind turbines.
Bayernwerk Netz GmbH is the grid operator of Bavaria, Germany, and supplies a total of around seven million people with energy. It operates in the Bavarian regions of Lower and Upper Franconia, Upper Palatinate, and Lower and Upper Bavaria, making it the largest regional distribution network operator in Bavaria: its electricity network covers 156,000 kilometers. In its energy networks, the company distributes 70 percent electrical energy from renewable sources from around 400,000 decentralized generation plants.
About Gemeindewerke Oberhaching
Gemeindewerke Oberhaching (GWO) was founded in 2006 as a local, community-owned energy supplier with the aim of supplying a large proportion of Oberhaching's citizens with renewable energy at favorable prices that are as stable as possible, while at the same time reducing carbon dioxide emissions. GWO offers 100 percent green electricity and is generated from renewable energies such as hydroelectric power, wind power or solar energy. In addition GWO is joint partner in the geothermal project company in Taufkirchen and offers 100 percent green heat via geothermal energy over a district heating network to Oberhaching’s citizen.