The British company developing innovative new kite power technology has opened its new head office in Glasgow.
The move by Kite Power Systems consolidates the company’s activities in Scotland, following its recent confirmation of plans to establish a research and test facility on a former British military range near Stranraer and £5 million of new investment into the company from E.ON, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures.
Kite Power plans to recruit an additional 10 key posts, primarily engineers, in Spring 2017 and the total headcount will rise to 25 by the end of the first year in Scotland, which will result in the company moving to a permanent workspace in the city centre later in 2017.
The management and design engineering team will be based in Glasgow, with a further team of test and development engineers based at the West Freugh test facility near Stranraer. Further technical support is being provided by Dumfries and Galloway based Natural Power Consultants.
Kite Power has already secured planning consent to deploy a 500kW power system from April this year. This will lead to a planned onshore demonstration array of multiple 500kW systems within the next 3-4 years elsewhere in Scotland. Thereafter, KPS will develop a 3MW onshore system at West Freugh and then deploy a similar sized power system in offshore waters.
David Ainsworth, Business Development Director, Kite Power, said, “As an important hub for innovation in renewable energy, Glasgow ticked all the boxes as a new KPS head office location.
“As well as its proximity to our testing facility, the city offers a wealth of resources, expertise and talent in engineering design and manufacture, especially in low carbon industries, its academic institutions are world class and the facilities and support available to KPS through the Tontine Innovation Centre will prove invaluable as we enter this next exciting phase of technology development.
“That the Tontine was once home to the workshop of famous inventor James Watt is an added inspiration for us.”
Kite-power technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market as it is cheaper to manufacture and requires fewer construction and installation materials than conventional wind turbines.
This means that kite power generation would not need government subsidies and could be deployed in UK and Irish waters (and other areas of the North Sea) and in waters up to and potentially deeper than 40m found offshore of countries such as Portugal, Japan and the USA. Kite Power Systems can also be deployed onshore.