U.S. giant Google acquired the company Makani Power, a start-up specialized in the production of airborne wind turbines, informs Business Week. The acquisition was made through Google X, the research and development arm of the group, that develops other groundbreaking projects too, such as Google Glass augmented reality glasses or the car without driver. The transaction value was not disclosed.
Founded in 2006, the company Makani Power has developed Airborne Wind Turbine (AWT), a drone equipped with turbines, which coming at altitude, generates electricity. The device describes wide circles in the sky and can rise to altitudes between 250 and 600 meters, where winds are stronger. The drone is attached to a cable, also used to convey power to the ground. The company reported that it successfully tested prototypes that can generate electricity at 30 kW, but the plan is to reach the generation of 600 kW, with larger models.
Google, a massive investor in renewable energy
Makani Power has received financial support from the Advanced Research Projects Agency of Energy (ARPA-E). Google has also invested 10 millions in Makani Power since November 2007, a year after its launch.
With a new owner, the company indicates its intention to make from airborne turbines a financially advantageous solution. In early May, Makani Power succeeded the first test of airborne wind, through a flight of the latest model, for 10 minutes.
The first client who would be interested is Google group itself, interested to supply power to its data centers, while improving their energy efficiency.
Google invested from 2011 over a billion dollars in renewable energy. In early January, the company acquired from EDF Renewable Energy, with 200 million dollars, a wind farm in Texas, with a capacity of 161 megawatts. The turbines will be connected to Google servers in Texas and New Mexico.