Greening the Islands Foundation

Airborne Wind Energy takes flight in Mayo County Council, Ireland

Renewable Innovative AWE technology completes first flight in County Mayo, Ireland

The MegaAWE project in Bangor Erris, County Mayo, Ireland, comes to an end launching test flights in September 2023 to advance utility-scale Airborne Wind Energy. Led by Mayo County Council and supported by Interreg North-West Europe, this initiative started to harness high-altitude wind resources using devices like kites and drones, complementing traditional energy sources. The newly established test hub will gather crucial data for AWE development, supported by partnerships with RWE Renewables and Kitepower. AWE devices promise lower environmental impact and simpler supply chains, especially beneficial for remote areas. This collaborative effort seeks to revolutionize renewable energy and means a significant step toward a greener future.

 

The MegaAWE project in Bangor Erris, County Mayo, Ireland, comes to an end after launching test flights in September 2023. Led by Mayo County Council and supported by the Interreg North-West Europe Programme, MegaAWE was born to advance utility-scale Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) for commercialization.

 

AWE systems use flying devices like kites and drones to harness high-altitude wind resources, complementing traditional wind and solar energy sources. MegaAWE successful project deliverable lets inaugurate a new operational test hub in Bangor Erris that enable continuous operation of AWE devices for data collection crucial to their development and industry standardization.

 

Mayo County Council’s commitment to sustainability and innovation drove their support for this project, emphasizing international collaboration for a cleaner future. RWE Renewables, in partnership with Kitepower, led the construction at the test hub. RWE saw potential for AWE to significantly impact the wind energy sector, complementing their existing renewable portfolio.

 

Kitepower’s Falcon soft-wing device, capable of generating up to 100kW, marks a milestone in this venture. The test hub’s establishment as a permanent base for Kitepower that can be visited contacting them, signifies accelerated development opportunities, benefiting the rest of other AWE companies that may fly there at one stage and also promoting the entire renewable energy sector.

The project was set up to look for strategic investments in renewables, backed by Interreg North-West Europe and multiple partners, including research entities, industry companies, and local authorities. The innovative AWE devices, operating at altitudes up to 500 m, promised since the beginning lower environmental impact and simpler supply chains, especially suitable for remote areas lacking grid connectivity.


The MegaAWE project has represented a collaborative effort involving various industry players and research organizations like RWE Renewables, Kitepower, Mayo County Council, BlueWise Marine and several others, aiming to revolutionize the renewable energy landscape. Now, the journey continues with some of the partners thanks to the follow-up project “DEM-AWE” that has just been awarded.


The MegaAWE project in Bangor Erris, County Mayo, Ireland, took flight with its test phase in September 2023. Led by Mayo County Council and backed by the Interreg North-West Europe Programme, it comes to and end after delivering a successful test site in County Mayo, Ireland to advance utility-scale Airborne Wind Energy (AWE) towards commercial viability. Through innovative flying devices like kites and drones, this initiative complements traditional energy sources and promises a cleaner, more efficient future. Mayo County Council’s dedication to sustainability drove this international collaboration, while partners like RWE Renewables and Kitepower pioneered this transformative venture. With strategic investments and a collaborative spirit, MegaAWE started this journey to revolutionize renewable energy and offering greener solutions for a more sustainable world that it´s going to be followed-up by the project “DEM-AWE” that has just been awarded.


Article written by: Kristian Petrick
Airborne Wind Europe

Airborne Wind Europe

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