SkySails Power will be shipping first unit this week creating new jobs at sites in northern Germany
The Hamburg-based company SkySails Power GmbH is ready to deliver the first PN-14 airborne wind energy systems. The first unit of this pre-series will be shipped to Asia from the port of Hamburg this week. Further units for projects in Germany and on the island of Mauritius are on track for the first half of 2021.
The final assembly of the airborne wind energy systems takes place in Seevetal, Lower Saxony. The ground stations, weighing in at roughly 20 tons, are manufactured in a 900-square-meter production hangar along with the power generation unit and the kite’s launch and landing mast. It has already become apparent that the production facility’s current capacity will have to be significantly expanded in the coming years. SkySails Power GmbH currently employs around 90 people at locations in the Hamburg metropolitan area, Schleswig-Holstein and Lower Saxony. “We will be creating numerous additional jobs in northern Germany in the coming years. Here at the Seevetal site, the focus will be on employing skilled workers in electrics and mechanics”, says SkySails CEO Stephan Wrage.
The production site in Seevetal is the world’s first series production facility for the innovative wind energy systems. “We are very proud this pioneering role has fallen to us, a northern German company. Our technology can bring green electricity to remote regions and thus make an important contribution to the energy transition,” says Wrage.
Airborne wind energy systems use the high-energy and constant wind at altitudes of up to 400 meters. This results in a very stable electricity production, that makes renewable energies usable as a base load supply for the first time ever. In addition to conventional wind power applications, this also enables, for example, the reliable delivery of inexpensive, renewable energy to remote areas in emerging and developing countries and the replacement of diesel generators previously used there.
The construction of airborne wind energy systems has a comparatively low impact on the landscape. Their light and compact design enables the development of locations that are difficult to access. And thanks to their slim design, airborne wind energy systems are not only cost-effective but also particularly environmentally friendly in their operation.
Overall, airborne wind energy systems represent a forward-looking addition to existing wind power systems that can further accelerate the expansion of a decentralized renewable energy supply in Germany and the world.
Airborne wind energy systems consist of a ground station with a winch and an integrated generator. To produce energy, an automatically controlled power kite pulls a tether from the winch and the generator produces electricity. The retrieval phase begins when the tether has reached its maximum extension: the kite is flown to a position with a very low pulling force. The generator now acts as a motor and retracts the tether until its length is short enough to begin the next power generation phase. This retrieval process requires only a fraction of the energy generated during the power phase.