Revolutionary ‘Kite’ Technology Set to Power Small Towns with Tidal Energy
Swedish startup Minesto is set to revolutionize the tidal energy industry with its groundbreaking ‘kite’ technology. The company plans to install hundreds of these innovative kites in oceans across the world, providing clean and sustainable power to small towns.
An Eye-Catching Design
The ‘kite’ technology developed by Minesto is a giant metal structure that swims underwater against the current, turning its rotor and generating electricity. With a wingspan of 12 meters, the largest of these kites, known as Dragon 12, is about to be installed off the Faroe Islands. Once operational, it is expected to generate 1.2MW of clean electricity, enough to power approximately 1,000 homes.
Small, Modular, and Scalable
What sets Minesto’s technology apart is its relatively small, modular, and scalable design. Similar to how a kite moves through the air, the tidal turbine moves in a figure-of-eight motion through the water, generating electricity several times faster than the actual speed of the flowing water. This means that even with its compact size, the kite can produce a significant amount of electricity.
Overcoming Environmental Concerns
Traditional methods of harnessing tidal energy have often involved expensive barges or instream turbines that can have adverse impacts on ocean life. Minesto’s technology aims to address these concerns by offering a more environmentally friendly solution. The small size and motion of the tidal kite reduce the potential harm to marine ecosystems, making it a sustainable option for clean energy generation.
A Bright Future for Tidal Energy
Despite its immense potential, tidal stream technology is still largely underutilized. Minesto, with the support of local energy utility SEV, plans to build 120MW of tidal kite capacity in the Faroe Islands. This ambitious project, consisting of around 100 individual kites, could supply 40% of the archipelago’s electricity consumption, paving the way for a future where small towns can be powered by the natural forces of the ocean.