In recent years, a groundbreaking approach to harnessing renewable energy from the oceans has proven successful. This innovative technology emulates the movement of a kite to efficiently extract energy from tidal and ocean currents. Currently, the power generator is supplying electricity to the grid in the Faroe Islands. The tidal energy kite, known as Dragon 12, boasts a substantial wingspan of 12 meters and weighs 28 tons. Tethered to the sea floor in a narrow channel between the islands, the kite’s design enables it to perform repeated figure-of-eight movements, driving the flow of water to spin a turbine and generate electricity.
Minesto, a Swedish company specializing in marine energy technology, created this power generator. Although Minesto has not disclosed the precise amount of electricity being produced by this MegaWatt scale powerplant, estimates suggest it could potentially power around 1,000 homes. Dr Martin Edlund, CEO of Minesto, described this significant milestone for his company as providing powerful and cost-effective electricity to the grid while also being predictable. This affordability combined with ease of deployment and regularity of tidal currents may position this tidal kite as a competitive alternative to offshore wind generation.
The future looks promising for this technology’s further development and implementation. With continued investment and innovation in renewable energy sources like tidal kites, we can expect more sustainable solutions for our planet’s energy needs.