Monday, February 20th, 2017
Kite Power Systems opens new head office in Glasgow
The British company developing innovative new kite power technology has opened its head office in Glasgow (Scotland, UK).
The move by Kite Power Systems (KPS) consolidates the company’s activities in Scotland, following its recent confirmation of plans to establish a research and test facility on a MoD range near Stranraer and £5million of new investment into the company from E.ON, Schlumberger and Shell Technology Ventures (announced in December 2016).
KPS will initially be headquartered in the brand new Tontine Innovation Centre in Glasgow’s rapidly expanding innovation quarter.
KPS plans to recruit an additional 10 key posts, primarily engineers, in the first quarter of 2017. The total headcount will rise to 25 by the end of the first year in Scotland, which will result in KPS moving to a permanent workspace in the city centre later in 2017.
KPS’s 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, 8km south east of Stranraer.
The company is currently recruiting for a software engineer, project manager, project engineer and business development manager to join the Glasgow team and an electrical engineer to complete the initial team of five engineers at the test facility. Further technical support is being provided by Dumfries and Galloway based Natural Power Consultants.
The company 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, KPS Business Development Director 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.”
Welcoming KPS to Glasgow, Councillor Frank McAveety, Leader of Glasgow City Council, said: “The news that KPS will be making Glasgow the location for their head office is fantastic news for the city, underlining our attractiveness to innovative companies. It is no surprise that they have chosen to be based in The Tontine Innovation Centre, which will allow the opportunity for KPS to work collaboratively with other, similar organisations. We can look forward to exciting developments being made in Glasgow in this sector in the years to come.”
KPS’s kite power technology has the potential to transform the global offshore wind generation market as it is cheaper to manufacture and requires less construction and installation materials than conventional wind turbines (See Notes to Editors). The lower cost 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.
For further information /downloadable images & film footage:
Kite Power Systems (www.kitepowersystems.com / twitter @kitepowerltd)
David Ainsworth, Business Development Director: email@example.com / +44 (0)7966 937146
Paul Taylor, Taylor Keogh Communications: +44 (0)20 8392 8250 / +44 (0)7966 782611 / firstname.lastname@example.org
For Scottish media inquiries
David Budge, Budge PR: 0141 553 1115 / 07831 156333 / email@example.com
Notes to Editors
The KPS power system has two kites that are flown as high as 1500 feet (450m); their tether is attached to a winch system that generates electricity as it spools out. By achieving flight speeds of up to 100mph (45m/s) in 20mph (9m/s) winds, the kite’s tether tension causes the line to rapidly spool out from a drum, which turns a generator producing electricity.
KPS’s technology can reduce the capex of conventional offshore turbines by as much as 50% because its patented power system doesn’t require large quantities of steel or specialist installation vessels. In addition to the Balance of Plant being lower than traditional wind turbine, Kite Power Systems have a better effective wind efficiency per m² active area. The International Renewable Energy Agency’s Innovation Outlook for Offshore Wind (IRENA, published in October 2016) states a levelised cost of energy (LCOE) for conventional offshore turbines of US$170/MWh in 2015 reducing to US$95/MWh in 2030. Independent assessment of the KPS technology indicates a LCOE of US$62.5/MWh by 2020, reducing to less than US$50/MWh by 2030.
While there are other high altitude wind power systems under development around the world, the patented KPS system is unique and KPS is the only British company active in the kite power market.
Prior to the £5million investment announced in December 2016, KPS had invested more than £3m in technology development, with financial support coming from the UK Government (via DECC’s Energy Entrepreneurs Fund and Innovate UK), Shell’s GameChanger programme and private investors.